STATESBORO — Students at Georgia Southern University gathered outside the Marvin Pittman administration building around 12:30 p.m. to share their list of demands.
The list entitled, “protest against hate demands” included increasing diversity, issues surrounding funding for FYE and requiring the students involved in the book burning to attend mandatory diversity training.
Gloria Wilson, sophomore political science major, said that she was hoping the president would meet with a smaller group.
“I was just hoping to maybe get to talk to him and have him say a couple words to a smaller group and not just a mass email, that feels very impersonal,” Wilson said. “I was hoping just for him to say some more words that were specific to today’s protest and specific today’s demands.”
According to Wilson, President Kyle Marrero did not meet with the group, but according to John Lester, Vice President for Strategic Communications and Marketing, the group’s representatives were asked to meet with Marrero later Wednesday, but declined.
“Three members of the group walked into the president’s office and said they knew the president was not there, and requested to leave some information,” Lester said. “They were were asked if they wanted to come back later that day to meet with the president, but they declined.”
Julien Mendes, junior theatre major, said that faculty diversity was a key tenant on the list of demands for him.
“One of our goals was to raise it 17% by 2024 I believe we could get it higher, sooner,” Mendes said. “All POC, black, latino, like we just need more diversity around this campus… we need more action, less talk.”
Stefani Flanagan, a senior writing and linguistics major, stood up and read some lines of her poetry “Black Is”.
“Black is a feeling. Black is appealing. Black is healing for the soul who’s been giving, and giving, and giving. Black has been attacked. Black sits in the back,” Flanagan read from her poem.
Charles Boykin, junior film major with a minor in theatre, said that he was hoping to see some accountability for the actions of a few weeks ago.
“I just don’t really like seeing any kind of like white nationalist white supremacist activity on my campus doesn’t make me feel safe and feel like the people that I care for are safe,” Boykin said. “I just think those [book-burners] need to get off our campus. They don’t really have a place here.”
Nathan Woodruff, The George-Anne Managing News Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org