NORMAL (WEEK) — On Monday hundreds of Illinois State University students protested against the university alleging unfair treatment.
Protestors marched through the quad chanting “this fake diversity has got to go” as they waved signed with the words #AntiBlackISU written on them.
The outrage comes after the Black Homecoming Committee took to social media to explain how an event they say they secured for homecoming week at Redbird Arena had been canceled for volleyball practice last week.
Though Vice President of Student Affairs Levester Johnson claims there was no contract signed to make the reservation official.
“In their discussions, in far as looking at a date and so forth, as it relates to security as well the timing of the event that they would not agree to the terms by which athletics would allow the event to take place. There was no contract or agreement on the actual date,” Johnson said.
Though Monday’s rally was about more than the canceled event for the hundreds of students on the quad. It was about bringing to light the discrimination experienced across campus.
“The N-word was engraved on my door. It was in there prior to me moving in so it leaves me to question how long was this there? How many students have seen this, whether it affected them,” ISU senior James Copper said.
Copper said he is proud to see his fellow students taking a stand.
“I know me and a lot of other people wouldn’t be satisfied if they said ‘here is the homecoming event back’ that’s not it,” he said.
Though there was no contract on file, according to the university, Johnson said he will work with other university officials to deal with the concerns of students.
“It’s concerning but again that is their voice, we need to hear this. If there is an experience that our students are having daily or every other day that is impacting their experience on campus then we need to be sensitive to that,” he said.
“Students should speak up for themselves. We can’t get better and we can’t do our jobs if students aren’t sharing their experiences, their thoughts about how to improve the campus community. If there is anything that we know it is that if we hear it directly from the students guess what? That’s what they need. They know what their needs are so they need to tell us.”
Members of the Black Student Union, the student organization that put on the protest, tell us they did not feel comfortable releasing a statement on yet.