Reclaim Harvard Law, a group of student activists at Harvard Law School, occupied part of the school's Caspersen Student Center on Monday and plan to remain there indefinitely until their demands are met, according to the Harvard Crimson.
The Crimson reported the activists wanted the Law School to reconsider using the family seal of the slave-owning Royall family, among other demands such as hiring more diverse faculty and creating a critical race theory program.
Students also called the lounge "Belinda Hall" in honor of a former slave of its Law School benefactors and decided to claim a space that minority groups on campus lack, according to the Crimson.
Although Harvard Law School's Dean Martha Minow appointed a committee to address these demands, students were dissatisfied with the administrators' response, according to the Crimson. Students cited inspiration in sit-in protests that have occurred in recent months, especially those that occurred on college campuses, such as the sit-in organized at the University of Cape Town.
Stations such as “Reclaim Harvard Law Fireside Chat” were designated and student occupiers hope to discuss topics regarding diversity and race with passersby. Even though only 20 students stayed the first night, activists expect greater turnout in the coming days. Clinical professors held a workshop on Tuesday to discuss race in context of the Law School's curriculum, which the school's Dean of Students Marcia Sells observed.
Activists have no determined end date for their protest, with many students prepared for a long-term stay, bringing suitcases and blankets.“I’ll stay as long as necessary,” law student Isaac Cameron told the Crimson.