Michigan State students gathered in front of the Hannah Administration Building on Sunday afternoon to peacefully protest against the recent racist incidents that have occurred on campus and the university administration's handling of them.
MSU student Kennedy Parker and OU student Makenna Carpenter shared the protest — titled "Fighting Against Hate" — as a Facebook event, students of many backgrounds attended it.
Carpenter, who is Jewish, said she decided to become involved in seeking justice for these incidents after seeing the Facebook post about the two men who destroyed MSU Hillel's Sukkah.
“I just kind of remember looking at the Facebook page for Hillel and seeing the photos of the guys tearing down the Sukkah and just crying,” Carpenter said. “When you reside somewhere, it's supposed to feel like home. But in that moment it didn't feel like home anymore and I was scared.”
Throughout the protest, Carpenter and other students shared many of their own experiences and opinions that led them to joining the protest.
“I want these people to understand that what they did was wrong and why and that they receive consequences for it because, at the moment, I’m not seeing anything,” psychology junior Anabela Dillgomes said.
In light of the controversial Sona survey released last week that contained racist, transphobic, xenophobic and homophobic slurs, one of the main demands from the protest was to administer mandatory diversity training for all students before the end of this school year.
“I think there needs to be inequality, racial or discrimination training that all students have to go through. They need to email us about it and say ‘you need to sign up for a time,'” journalism freshman Lily Cross said.
Additionally, the group of students created a list of demands to the administration. The list of demands is as follows.
"We demand that Michigan State University acknowledge the traumatizing experiences of marginalized students on campus via the official University email server as “Bias Incident Reports” so as to expand attention to each network inside the University about bigotry, sexism, ableism, classism and other forms of discrimination/exclusion. So as to make a network of care the whole Spartan community (counting all school divisions, workforce, staff and understudies) must know the network's ills and by and large work together to battle them towards equity for all.
Because of the methodical mistreatment looked by marginalized understudies throughout the world by means of colorism, prejudice, classism, mass detainment, police severity and every single other shamefulness we need mental administrations that oblige our exceptional mental needs. We demand that free, unlimited psychological assistance catered towards the marginalized community is available on campus.
We demand that Michigan State University implement an incessant system of surveillance into residential halls. This system would act as the second step in a two-step perpetrator verification process, students should have privacy rights in spite of the residential hall surveillance system.
We demand that the personnel assessments that every understudy is required to take at the end of the course survey, SARS, incorporate at any rate two open-finished inquiries, for example, "Do you believe that this teacher fits into the vision of the University being a network of care for people of all racial, sex, capacity and class characters?" These inquiries on the staff assessments would guarantee that there are repercussions or approvals for supremacist activities performed by educators and aide in the establishment of an environment conducive to learning for all Spartans. We request that these inquiries be added to the staff assessments before the finish of this semester, Fall 2019.
We demand that the subjects of the injustices: Asian, Black, Latinx, Muslim, Indian/Alaskan/Pacific Islander, Native Jewish, LGBTQ+, 1st Generation, low-income, Differently-abled, women and other underrepresented groups belonging to the Spartan family including students, faculty and administration be consulted in regards to communal efforts being made by way of diversity."
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Carpenter said she believes speaking up for these issues is the way to make change on campus. As long as the students are angry and vocal, they will be heard, she said.
“Anger is valuable. Anger is what gets everybody to hear you loud and clear that we are upset, that things need to be different. How many hate crimes on campus will it take for the university to actually implement some guidelines?" Carpenter said. “We have about 50,000 voices here, contact one of us, speak with us, work together. You know, we could really make some change on campus and make this place a better, smarter and safer place for everybody.”
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