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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Student Protest Shows Solidarity with Mizzou

Photo courtesy of Alicia Espinal-Mesa

On Thursday, Nov. 12, Loyola students gathered on The Quad for a demonstration in solidarity with the students of color at the University of Missouri. Though the event was planned only hours before its execution, a large number of students were able to attend.

Standing on the steps outside of Maryland Hall, Kahla Desire ‘17 spoke about why the demonstration was so needed on Loyola’s campus. She retold stories of students of color experiencing oppression on our campus in a variety of ways, and how she felt there was no response on campus to the events at the University of Missouri. Specifically, she noted how, as a Jesuit university, Loyola should be more concerned with the struggles both on campus and beyond.

Students marched and chanted starting from The Quad, through the Julio Fine Arts Center, the College Center, the Student Center, Boulder and around the building back to the Quad. Once back at the center of campus, several students gave accounts of their experiences on campus, including interactions with other students, professors and campus police.

There were a variety of reactions to the demonstration. Some students laughed at the marchers, other expressed disgust over Yik Yak.

Demonstrations like this one were common throughout the country, as several other universities joined in solidarity with Mizzou and Yale University.

Activists on campus are trying to implement change at Loyola through educational opportunities, such as diversity training. A concerned student explained it as, “a program starting with faculty, staff, administrators, really anyone on Loyola’s payroll about how to interact with students from diverse backgrounds.” Eventually, activists hope to expand the program to the first-year students, similar to the mandatory GreenDot training students attend at the beginning of Fall Welcome Weekend.

As student organizers had hoped, administration responded to the demonstration, seeking a conversation about what can happen on campus, and how to make Loyola’s students of color feel more safe.

In addition to the administration responding directly to the students affiliated with the demonstration, Student Government Association President, Moira Pannepacker ‘16, sent a school-wide email explaining the importance of these events and encouraging students to get educated and active: “I hope many of you have seen, and been informed on the events surrounding the racial divisions at the University of Missouri. If you have not — inform yourself, seek out the education that is required of a college student, regardless of personal opinions. I ask that you then take that knowledge and further apply it to Loyola.  Be aware that a population of our student body is hurting.  This is not “us” and “them”. This is “we”. We are Loyola. We need to challenge ourselves to talk about our stories. We need to talk. We need to listen. We need to formulate our own opinions, but do so with accurate information.”

Acting President, Dr. Susan M. Donovan, also emailed the university, encouraging students to continue conversations on campus and to really focus and discern on the issues that affect the students and the community.

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Student Protest Shows Solidarity with Mizzou