Wednesday, November 18, 2015

UCF's Black Student Union protests racial injustice at campus sit-in

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 1:31 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY BERNARD WILCHUSKY
  • Photo by Bernard Wilchusky

Dozens of students, black and white alike, gathered at the heart of the University of Central Florida for a sit-in protest against racial injustice.

The protest, organized by the Black Student Union and held in the Student Union from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., came as a response to the recent racial turmoil at the University of Missouri.

"As the voice of minorities on campus, it is our job to make sure that racial injustice is not happening on campus whatsoever," said Courtney Powell, president of the BSU and a senior health services administration student at UCF. "Mizzou inspired us to speak out because of the events that have been happening over the past five years, because they've been experiencing so much racial injustice."

While Powell said that no one in BSU had experienced any racism at UCF, she said that it was important for minority students to participate in demonstrations like the sit-in to raise awareness about racial issues that afflict other campuses and places around the world.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY BERNARD WILCHUSKY
  • Photo by Bernard Wilchusky

For Dawon Baker, a Mizzou alumnus and a sport business management and business administration graduate student, the sit-in bit closer to home. Baker chose to participate in the protest after his experience with racism at Mizzou, where he said the climate of intolerance was much more overt.

"I know of some incidents that happened where [racism] wasn't addressed, where nothing happened," Baker said. "I have friends where, when they walk in Greek town, they'd get called the n-word and nobody said something about it. They'd tell someone and they'd be like, 'Oh, OK, we'll address it,' and then nothing happened."

Earlier this week, Nazi symbols and anti-semitic fliers were found on UCF's campus. 

The BSU will hold a town hall meeting at UCF today at 5 p.m. 

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