A group of students at the University of the District of Columbia, angered by recent actions by the school's board of trustees and administration, said last night that they plan to "take whatever action necessary" to gain the resignations of at least three of the trustees. The effort, which could include a boycott of classes or a march and rally, was announced after the third meeting in two nights by the students, who have sent the trustees a list of 20 demands.
Included in the list is a request for the resignations of Cynthia Smith, the student representative on the board of trustees, and Nira Long and Patricia Mathis, two trustees who the students said were instrumental in obtaining the controversial artwork "The Dinner Party."
The House of Representatives voted to cut $1.6 million from the UDC's operating budget after some lawmakers described the artwork as obscene. The work is a large ceramic sculpture that depicts the history of women in 39 place settings, some of which contain images of female genitalia.
The Senate voted to restore the money to UDC's budget. A conference committee will reconcile the two positions.
"We have asked three times for special meetings with the board of trustees," said Ra'tunda Norman, 19. "The students are sick and tired of getting no response."
The first meeting, on Monday night, drew 150 students, while yesterday's meeting drew twice as many.
One particular area of concern for the students is the school's library, for which they want longer hours.
Students said they first asked the school administration a year ago for extended hours for the library, which is now open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Student leaders, saying they were worried that representatives of the administration or the trustees would infiltrate their planning session, held a closed meeting last night open only to students. The meeting lasted two hours.
Mark Thompson, a UDC junior, said students have no plans to take over any campus buildings. But he said they did discuss a wide range of options that the group decided not to disclose "for obvious reasons."