Student protests spread across the globe; BSU takes a stand

By Jatara Allen
December 2, 2015

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BSU makes an impression on the college community by standing in unity and giving a voice to their beliefs. Psychology major Cheyenne Irizarry is pictured above. Photo by Emily Rowan: Photo editor

Times have changed, voices have been heard, people have sacrificed their lives and jobs have been lost; however, racism is still very well alive.

Racial tensions and horrific slurs have hovered over multiple colleges and universities based on the color of one’s skin for over decades.

According to CNN, the president and chancellor of the University of Missouri system resigned on Monday, Nov. 9 because of the controversy over race.

African American students have complained multiple times about how they wanted change on their campus.

The students did not think that the leaders were focusing on what the problem really was — they did not know how to process the racism that was taking place on the predominately white Columbia campus.

“It was very unfair and I don’t believe they were thinking about what was in the best interests of the students,” education major Mariah Casillas said.

Reported on, racial tensions erupted at Ithaca College. Student protests rose just like the ones going on in Missouri. Missouri’s rage has sparked concerns at other colleges and universities. Students and staff are standing together to fight for what they believe should be an “equal education.”

“Students pay so much money to go to a school just to further their education, but because of the ignorance of others, they are afraid to even walk out of their dorm rooms,” social work major Jordan Floyd said. “It is sad to see professors cancelling classes because they know that their students may be fighting for their lives if they stepped foot outside.”

What members thought was becoming a world to live in, is now returning to what used to be hate, segregation and racism at its highest.

Dozens of Ithaca faculty expressed a serious voice of concern of what was happening on campus.

Students outraged from a comment that lured around calling a black woman a “savage” after her event, which was expressing her “savage hunger” to have a successful career. Taken a little too bit out of context, things went left. Students voiced that too many events occurred and that there was not enough support or a lack of strong administration to resolve some of the issues.

During this time of anger and curiosity, Cabrini’s Black Student Union, or BSU, took it upon themselves for their voices to be heard, as well. They believed that it was time that they took a stance on something that they felt the world seemed to shun against, which was that black lives matter.

“They were questioning our existence on campus, and we knew this was the perfect time to give us that extra push,” English major Marketa Johnson said.

BSU held a small, organized protest on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

The group had support from the college community on a topic that they thought needed to be addressed. It had a great outcome and they accomplished what they wanted — to be heard and leave people feeling uncomfortable.

“Overtime, our minds have been bombarded with ignorant stereotypes that make it difficult to feel free in the skin that we’re in,” Cheyenne Irizarry, junior psychology major, said. “BSU is taking remarkable steps to bring awareness to our campus.”

There is always going to be constant change, but it is what people are willing to step up and do that will have a greater outcome.

Cabrini publicizes the fact that it is a diverse college and that they are willing to improve any problems that they may witness. Students have nothing but positive comments on what a well-rounded and family-based college that Cabrini is.

“Black lives matter. All lives matter,” Irizarry said. “And that’s important to remember.”

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Jatara Allen

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