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Notre Dame students demand to read fewer white male scholars

One of several demands lodged by ‘End Hate at ND’ student group

A group of students at the University of Notre Dame is demanding that courses be reworked to reduce the number of reading materials penned by white, male scholars in an effort to “eliminate the violence of only privileging white scholarship.”

It’s one of several demands the “End Hate at ND” group has put forth recently. The group describes itself as “an initiative for organizing civil action against racist, xenophobic, sexist, trans-exclusionary, & queer-phobic structures at Notre Dame.”

The protesters’ demands also include diversity trainings in dorms, an end to a longstanding campus policy that forbids students from spending the night in the dorms of the opposite sex, and calls for the university to work with local Native American tribes.

As for the demand labeled “Decolonize Academia,” the student activists argue “cultural competence is key in building empathy for marginalized folks.”

With that, “no course or program of study should have a view limited to white, western, and/or male voices. We demand that people who are of Color, Indigenous, Black, queer, or not male are represented in the authorship of at least half course and major required readings,” the demand states.

“Diversifying the canon helps eliminate the violence of only privileging white scholarship,” it adds.

Meanwhile, “End Hate at ND” also held two protests this past week to challenge a dorm policy they say they believe enforces a “white, cis-heteronormative hegemony.”

Students of the opposite sex are not permitted to enter the living areas of all-female or all-male residence halls after midnight on weekdays and 2:00 a.m. on weekends — a policy known as parietals.

But this policy puts LGBTQ students in danger, the student activists allege.

“Parietals effectively erase the presence of queer folks on Notre Dame’s campus. They help enforce heteronormativity and gender norms that propagate homophobia in the form of microaggressions, slurs, and a spirit of exclusion,” said junior David Philllips in a column in the Observer explaining the protesters’ reasoning.

Protesters staged a sit-in at an all-male residence hall on November 17 from 2:00 a.m. to approximately 5:00 a.m. to directly challenge the policy.

Ten students ignored multiple police orders to leave the residential hallway over a period of two hours, according to the Observer. The students complied when threatened with immediate expulsion.

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