Black United Students (BUS) and the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha organized a unity march on Monday to denounce racist actions that have occurred on the #Kent State campus and demand more action be taken by the university. Previous marches organized by students took place on campus on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. Participants marched from Risman Plaza to the Rock at the front of campus.
This comes after the Black Lives Matter paintings on the Rock were repeatedly spray painted over with phrases such as “white lives matter” and “Blacks have no home here.”
“The term ‘White Lives Matter’ was coined by neo-nazis and white supremacist(s) … this is hate speech and we know this,” BUS wrote in a statement released after the second spray painting of the Rock.
Kent State also released a statement after the incidents were brought to their attention, saying, “Because of the repeated nature of these messages, we are investigating several potential actions, including fencing off the Rock, installing security cameras and even the Rock’s removal.”
In response, BUS submitted a list of demands to the university and Kent State President Todd Diacon urging them to take more action to ensure the safety of Black students on campus, including adding an anti-hate clause to the code of student conduct and mandatory bias training that includes the #LGBTQ+ community.
The march was held on Monday Sept. 14 where Diacon was invited to march with BUS, Alpha Phi Alpha and others in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and Black students at Kent State.
After the march and a discussion with BUS, Diacon emailed a list of actions to students and the Kent State community to be implemented to make sure similar racist incidents do not happen again. Read the university’s statement here.