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Burns Hargis announces commitment to increase inclusion, diversity efforts at OSU

  • Updated

Students march down Monroe Street at the OKState Stand United March on August 24, 2020 at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State University president Burns Hargis has announced his commitment to increase inclusion and diversity efforts at OSU.

The announcement followed scheduled talks on Monday between Hargis and members of the student organization OkState Stand United (OKSSU).

The founders of OKSSU have been organizing on-campus demonstrations since this summer. Both their most recent march on campus last week and this summer's Juneteenth March for Black Lives centered around a document known as The List of Urgencies.

The List of Urgencies, which is available for viewing online, is a petition that outlines eleven issues deemed to be of urgent importance to minority students on campus. 

Shortly following the conclusion of the meeting with OKSSU organizers, Hargis' office released a statement to university students via email.

In the email, Hargis said he will work with OKSSU and other members of the campus community to develop a plan that addresses OKSSU's List of Urgencies and other initiatives detailing "timed, measurable goals and specific initiatives that will be implemented across campus in coming years."

Hargis said the plan will be created by students, faculty, staff and alumni and will published before the end of the 2021 spring semester.

"Oklahoma State University proudly holds diversity, community, excellence, service, integrity, intellectual freedom and the stewardship of resources as our core institutional values, and we are committed to improving the means by which our institution upholds those values as an institution of higher learning and a land grant university," the statement read. "Oklahoma State is committed to supporting the pursuit of a higher education for all of our Cowboy family, and we are invested in making your experiences at OSU truly inclusive and equitable."

This story will be updated.