The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

Demands Given: LGBTQIA+ Sit-in Organizers Demand Response From Georgia Southern Following Rollback Allegations

Blake Williams
LGBTQIA+ Sit-In fills Russell Union Courtyard

LGBTQIA+ supporters and community members gathered in the Russell Union on Georgia Southern’s Statesboro campus and in the Student Union on the Armstrong Campus Monday afternoon for a scheduled sit-in. 


The sit-in was organized by students, in collaboration including BoroPride in Statesboro, First City Pride Center in Savannah, and GSU’s Students with Disabilities Advocacy Group.  According to the organizers, the sit-in was in response to Georgia Southern’s alleged removal of LGBTQIA+ focused signage, resources, programs and professional trainings, including “Safe Space”. 


The George-Anne previously reported on the allegations made against Georgia Southern, and President Kyle Marrero’s response to those allegations. Those articles can be found here.


During the event, participants joined in a unity circle for a 10 minute moment of silence in a public display of support of unity.


Organizers then shared their list of demands during a speech. Those demands include “Issuance of a public apology from President Marrero, expressing remorse for the erasure of LGBTIA+ visibility and resource advertisement, and acknowledging the resulting harm to LGBTQIA+ students.”


Ellen Murphy, one of the sit-in organizers, spoke about  what an apology would mean to the LGTBQIA+ community. “We as the queer community are really feeling the impact of the rescinded of services and resending of advertisements about services specifically. And so we would like an apology for the hurt, the confusion, the sense of betrayal that that has caused for queer students on campus and the reduced visibility of the impacts of that on students.”


President Marrero did address these claims during the Faculty Senate meeting last week stating, “We are committed to providing all health services that we have and continue at the Health center for all of our students. Nothing has been changed in any of that.”


Murphy also expressed how an apology could be “be really meaningful and start to repair some of the harm that has been done from the university and the university system of Georgia to queer students on campus.”


The full list of demands could be seen here. The list was handed out on both campuses.

Included in the demands are two deadlines.

  • Restoration of all previously available information about LGBTQIA+ identities and resources to the public-facing GSU website by this Friday, May 3.
  • Involvement of experts in LGBTQIA+ history, health, and wellbeing in the re-development of Safe Zone training and reinstatement of the training to university staff, faculty and students by August 14, 2024; which is the start date of the Fall semester. 

Statesboro Sit-In

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We also spoke to Dominique Quarles, Associate Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness, Leadership Development, and Inclusive Excellence. He said,  “Events like this happen all across the nation. Students coming together to make their voices heard. The more voices that are heard, the more people that understand what people are experiencing, going through or want to show. So I think events like student protests and gatherings are a piece of what college life is about.”

Vice President of Student Affairs Shay Little was  thrilled to see the turnout of students this close to finals. “It’s great to see such a gathering when I know that students have a lot on their minds and preparing for exams at the end of the semester,” Little wants students to know that their voices are heard.

Students attending the sit-in spoke on what this means to them. Nia Morris, a theater major at GSU shared her feelings about the event. “It means supporting my community. I am a theater major and it means a lot to have our department stand beside us to not only have accessibility to the resources available to all students but visibility for all of Georgia Southern.”

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About the Contributors
Blake Williams
Blake Williams, Co-Editor in Chief, The George-Anne
Briyanna Thompson
Briyanna Thompson, Co-Editor-in-Chief, The George-Anne
Briyanna is the Editor in chief for the George-Anne. She is a Senior Public Relations major with a minor in Sports Management. She is from Decatur, GA, and she joined the George-Anne fall in 2021 to gain news experience and further her future career plans. She is interested in sports writing and loves listening to music. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Pi You can send news tips to her email

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