Go to content, skip over navigation


More Pages

Go to content, skip over visible header bar
Home News Features Arts & Entertainment Sports OpinionAbout Contact Advertise

Note about Unsupported Devices:

You seem to be browsing on a screen size, browser, or device that this website cannot support. Some things might look and act a little weird.

Athletes of Color Coalition lists demands to Department of Athletics

September 10, 2020

On Sunday, the Athletes of Color Coalition (AoCC) released a list of demands for diversity reform in the athletic department. These include mandated race education for teams and an athletics-specific bias reporting process. The AoCC began circulating a petition, which invites community members to express support for these demands. The petition had gathered close to 800 signatures as of Thursday night.

The AoCC’s proposals, detailed in a Google document linked in the petition, fall within six categories: training, coaches, recruiting, representation, student support and transparency. The document also includes a timeline laying out when the AoCC expects these changes to be implemented.

The AoCC is demanding that all athletic teams suspend their organized workouts and activities “until they have had frequent conversations on race.” Additionally, the AoCC is requesting that all athletic teams be required to engage in meaningful conversations on race every year, similar to the annual anti-hazing training teams already participate in.

“While these hazing talks are essential and ensure the safety of new members entering teams, it is necessary to also mandate education on race to ensure the safety of the members that are in the racial minority of these teams,” writes the AoCC in its petition.

The AoCC is also asking that coaches, as well as team captains, participate in allyship training, noting that there are only three coaches of color across all athletic teams. To this end, the AoCC is calling for more diversity in coaching staffs and for a representative from the AoCC to sit on the hiring committee.

The AoCC also hopes to improve diversity on teams and is calling on the athletic department to recruit more athletes of color, especially from outside of New England, and to provide more financial support for low-income athletes who wish to visit campus.

Additionally, the AoCC is demanding more visibility on campus, through, for example, a representative on  Bowdoin Student Government (BSG).

The Coalition is also requesting a specific reporting process within the athletic department for instances of racial bias. They cite results from a recent survey of athletes of color that point to the frequency of these incidents on athletic teams as a reason for this new reporting process.

“Athletes of color often feel unsafe going to the deans with a report of racial bias because they will likely be singled out as the one who reported an incident because of the small number of athletes of color on each team,” writes the AoCC, noting that many athletes do not report these incidents at all.

Finally, the AoCC is pressuring the athletic department to release a yearly report detailing their efforts to improve diversity and inclusion, as well as a full report in four years that will examine overall trends within the department.

“For so long, no changes have been made within the athletic department and we, the Bowdoin Athletes of Color Coalition, are the first ones attempting to make Bowdoin more inclusive,” the document concludes. “AoCC would like to be included in the conversation about change; we will not be shut out. We ask for accountability, transparency and an open line of communication to ensure that change will happen.”


Before submitting a comment, please review our comment policy. Some key points from the policy:

  • No hate speech, profanity, disrespectful or threatening comments.
  • No personal attacks on reporters.
  • Comments must be under 200 words.
  • You are strongly encouraged to use a real name or identifier ("Class of '92").
  • Any comments made with an email address that does not belong to you will get removed.


  1. Recent Alum says:

    You write, “They cite results from a recent survey of athletes of color that point to the frequency of these incidents on athletic teams as a reason for this new reporting process.”

    But in the linked article, the Orient reports that the survey was of “members of the AoCC.”

    That’s not the same as surveying athletes of color. This is a significant sampling bias, since members of the AoCC could be more likely to have experience racist incidents than athletes of colors who are not members of the AoCC (the racist incidents could be the reason they joined the AoCC, for example). And they are probably less likely to be comfortable talking to their coaches about their experiences.

    Furthermore, after looking at the survey (linked in the petition, which you link to), it turns out that there were 12 responses in the survey. Do you think that is representative enough to draw conclusions?

  2. Oldish Bear says:

    Could the Orient please publish the names of the leaders and members of the AoCC? How many members do they have? What % of athletes of color have decided to join the AoCC? Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Any comments that do not follow the policy will not be published.

0/200 words