By: Sabrina Brown
In response to controversy surrounding the building of the fence around the basketball courts near Buenger Hall, students decided to take matters into their own hands.
On Nov. 25, approximately 30 Xavier students rallied on the courts in silent protest of the construction of the fence and the larger issues it represents.
“The purpose of the protest was not necessarily to get the fence removed. We were protesting to stop building the fence, but I think we all understood that they’re not actually going to stop building it. The purpose was more to make a statement,” senior Sam Meza said.
The students involved were concerned primarily with the issues of transparency, racism and the relationship with the surrounding communities.
“The administration keeps making decisions about the university without consulting the students, and in conversation with a lot of people, it seems like a lot of people on campus are feeling like they’re an afterthought,” Meza said. “They (the administration) make these decisions behind closed doors and talk to us to defend their point, not to ask for our input.”
Students felt that the building of the fence perpetuated a form of racism on campus.
“Most of the people at the protest were people of color, and I think that speaks to the fact that they’re starting to feel really marginalized in a place where they’re supposed to feel accepted. It (the fence) speaks to both community (racial) differences but also that we’re not treating minority students as we should be,” Meza said. “I don’t think it’s intentional. I don’t think the fence was intended to be an act of racism, but I think it’s a manifestation of ideas in our heads. I feel like we are taught differently, but we’re not practicing it.”
Those involved hope that the issues addressed through the silent protest and the surrounding forums will be a springboard for both discussion about these issues and a more transparent administration at Xavier.