On the second day of the 2004 Republican National Convention, five Vassar students were arrested in connection with a protest, called Day of Direct Action. This protest was centered on bringing awareness to the deadly consequences of the war in Iraq. The students boarded subways dressed in black clothing and white face paints, with signs hanging from their necks that read, “War Dead.” They sought to remind New Yorkers that while they may be able to go about normal lives, there are many around the world who are having their lives disrupted by war. Although the students were traveling with journalists and observers and believed they were not in violation of any laws, they were arrested by six police. After returning back to Vassar’s campus, the students maintained that they did not regret protesting and felt they were exercising their First Amendment Rights. 

The ALANA Center invited students to partake in a conversation with Co-Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment Krystal Tribbett about how Vassar recruits students of color. Tribett reported that around 26.6% of the Class of 2008 were students of color, but the number of students of color attending Vassar was not increasing very much. Students discussed ways in which the school could attract and maintain more students of color, such as by hiring more faculty of color. This discussion kicked off a week of events geared towards prospective students of color, including a bus trip to campus for students who could not afford to make it there themselves and a phone-a-thon where Vassar students called admitted students of color and answer questions they have.