Saint Louis University has commissioned a commemorative sculpture intended to capture the “spirit and importance” of the “Occupy SLU” demonstrations conducted for a week this fall in protest of law enforcement.
Protestors converged on the urban campus for six days in October to voice their outrage over what they alleged to be systemic racial bias and belligerent tactics by law enforcement. Several civil rights groups helped organize the event, intended to be a high-profile protest in connection to the Michael Brown shooting. The protest led to an eventual concession by the university to 13 demands from protest organizers. The College Fix reports:
Flying an upside-down American flag, they gave speeches and “teach ins” on topics such as “conscious awakening, systematic oppression, white supremacy, and students’ responsibility to the community,” according to a YouTube video that documented the demonstration.
The demonstrators left only after the university agreed to all 13 of their demands, one of which was a “mutually agreed upon commissioned artwork.”
That agreement has now been dubbed the “Clock Tower Accords” by campus leaders of the private, Jesuit university, who recently announced they have “commissioned renowned African American artists and sculptors Kyle and Kelly Phelps to design a sculpture that captures the spirit and importance of the demonstration and encampment at Saint Louis University on October 13-18, 2014.”
Though they expect the project to be completed within the next 12 months, St. Louis University President Fred Pestello said they have not decided on a specific design or location. The university has not disclosed the estimated cost of the sculpture, nor has it created the budget for the other 12 initiatives demanded by protestors, many of which will likely be quite expensive:
The sculpture is one of a handful of the 13 demands that could come at a high price tag for the university. Other major budgetary demands agreed to include the establishment of both a community center and a K-12 bridge program, the appointment of a special assistant to the president for diversity and community engagement, and an increased budget for the university’s African-American studies program. […] Other “accord” promises include the establishment of a diversity speaker series, sponsorship of a national conference on racial equality hosted by SLU, and additional college workshops for area students in disadvantaged neighborhoods, among other agreements.