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Student Strike at Bryn Mawr College Ends

Bryn Mawr College students who had been boycotting classes and campus jobs for the past 16 days have ended their strike.

The strike organizers said in an email that their boycott actions ended Nov. 19 and resulted in several commitments from college administrators to address racism on the Pennsylvania campus and increase diversity. Among other steps, the college’s leaders promised to review faculty hiring practices to ensure they meet diversity and inclusion goals and to remove a remaining bust, inscription and portrait on campus dedicated to M. Carey Thomas, the college’s second president, who espoused racist and anti-Semitic views.

Bryn Mawr students began their strike after students at Haverford College, a nearby partner institution, also led a strike for institutional changes to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. The Haverford students ended their strike Nov. 12.

Bryn Mawr strike organizers said that their movement will be a “continuous” effort to change inequitable systems at the college, according to a statement concluding the strike.

The college will provide a status report on its antiracism actions to members of campus at the middle and end points of semester and publish a dashboard and end-of-year report each year moving forward, according to a list of the college’s commitments to diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism published on the college’s website on Nov. 16.

“From this, we, strike participants, strike organizers, and the students, faculty, staff, and alum who have stood with the strike, have fundamentally changed Bryn Mawr College such that for all students, it may become the community and home it aspires to be,” the statement from strike organizers said.

President Kim Cassidy said in a message to students, faculty and staff members that she is “deeply grateful” for the work of the strike organizers and apologized for missteps she and other administrators made during the duration of the strike.

“This strike has challenged us to face our history in new ways, to confront persistent institutional barriers to progress, and to commit to change,” Cassidy said. “Our way forward will require building new relationships and engaging in repair, even as we remember what members of the Core Strike Collective made clear: this is not a return to ‘normal.’ What was considered normal is unacceptable, given the harm it did to so many.”

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