A group of Antioch Law School students locked themselves in the school's administration office yesterday and vowed to stay until plans to raise tuition were abandoned.
The students, who were still occupying the offices at 2 a.m. today, also are demanding a freeze on hiring of white faculty members by the school, which was founded in 1972 to produce lawyers with a commitment to poor, inner-city clients.
"Antioch was set up to train poor people, people of color, and to send them out into the country to be lawyers with a social mission to poor people and people of color," said James Yancey, a first-year student from Charlotte, N.C. "We feel it's going the other way, [that] it's producing people without social sensitivity."
The takeover of the administration office occurred while Dean Ronald F. Pollack was meeting with an inspection team from the American Bar Association. The meeting in the law school library continued without interruption.
After meeting with a group of five students last evening, Pollack said, "The issues they raise are serious and we take them seriously." He said he offered to let the students examine the school's budget, "so they can see that the tuition increase is absolutely necessary." Pollack said about a dozen students were involved in the sit-in.
Pollack also said that four of the six top-level administrators hired this year were members of minority groups.
The sit-in at the school at 2633 16th St. NW continued quietly throughout the day. There were no demonstrations, no posters, no police.
The law school has announced that tuition would be raised for the coming academic year from $5,070 to $5,750. It was raised last year from $4,500. Jesse Gadson, a third-year student, said the students were angered that tuition here was being raised while that of the parent institution, Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, was not.
Marceline Alexander, beginning her second year, said that the proposed increase comes at a time when the Reagan administration is tightening student loans.
Students said that about 450 are enrolled at Antioch. Minority students make up Between 30 and 40 percent of the school's enrollment, but only three of the school's 16 faculty members are nonwhite, they said.