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Students hold a peaceful sit-in after racist remarks were written on a student's dry erase board

Students had a peaceful sit-in, in front of Sweeney Hall at Central Michigan University, after a racist and inappropriate message was left on a student of color’s white board, which went viral on Tuesday.

The event was supported by the university as well multiple multicultural organization, like the NAACP.

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Credit Xavier Mendoza | WCMU
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CMU President Bob Davies addresses the racist comments that occurred at a students dorm during a peaceful sit-in, in front of Sweeney Hall, the dorm where the situation took place.

CMU President Bob Davies spoke at the sit-in.

“You cannot tolerate these activities because we are one family, a community, a university. If one of us is attacked, we’re all attacked.”

Davies said the university will not tolerate any bigotry, racism, misogyny, or any negative activity that puts down others.

Detroit sophomore, Yasmeen Duncan, was the student that posted about the incident.

“Last night, after finding what was written in our dorms, I did not feel like I belong here, I wanted to go home, and I never wanted to come back,” she said. “Seeing all of you guys here, really makes my heart happy, so again, thank you so much.”

Duncan’s roommate, Detroit sophomore, Rebecca Rose Mims, said she wanted the event to be the start of change.

“This is still our community and we belong here, just as much as anyone else. I want you guys to use this event to push us forward. We can’t let stuff like this happen ever again.”

Detroit senior, Kasey Davis, said she empathized with the students.

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Credit Xavier Mendoza | WCMU
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Students attend the sit-in while listening to speeches by university representatives and fellow students in front of Sweeney Hall.

“Earlier this year, end of March - Early April, I myself faced a racial encounter against three white males that went here, in the parking lot of Saxe-Herrig-Celani, and I reported it to the police,” she said. “And if I’m not mistaken, that same exact officer that told those three girls that it was pretty much ok and tried to compare his badge to African-Americans and our blackness, he did the same exact thing to me.”

Oakland, CA sophomore, Kiyanna Johnson, said she was proud of the solidarity.

“I feel like it’s a really good representation of how the campus really is,” Johnson said. “Like, those few students that did this, they aren’t a representation of how the entire school is. This university is one of inclusion, is one of care, and we care about each other here.”

Grand Rapids junior, Bailey Campbell, said she felt the situation was heartbreaking but the solidarity was powerful.

“I personally know one of the people who were impacted. All I know is for me to be an ally and for other people to be allies, other white people, because that’s all you have to do,” Campbell said. “You gotta stand by one another and be as supportive and loving as possible. You can’t just say it, you actually have to take action and do something about it.”

Detroit senior, Kendall Holloway had a similar statement.

“Really, at the end of the day, what everyone should do is to try to come together and do what we can to try and understand each other,” he said. “Whether you’re a person of color, not a person of color, whether you’re a minority or you’re a majority, at the end of the day, what we should do is try to get together and understand each other.”

The event concluded with a list of demands as repercussions and the start of change by the university. Those demands were:

  1. Each student to be required to take a cultural course pertaining to their major/minor.

  2. Cameras be placed and actively used in the hallways of residence halls.

  3. A certified third-party must host a race and ethnicity training that will be mandatory for all faculty, staff, students

  4. Public apology by the officer that responded to the incident by the end of the week.

The first three are demanded to be completed in a month’s time. The fourth demand is to be completed by the end of the week.  

 

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Credit Xavier Mendoza | WCMU
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One of the messages on the sidewalk that leads towards Sweeney Hall on the campus of Central Michigan University. The messages were in response to the racist situation that occurred at the dorm.