COBRA organizes sit-in protest

The mostly-underground collective occupied Gallagher Student Center

By julia lankisch, Guest Writer
Newswire Photo by Erik Maahs
Members of the COBRA collective table in GSC to collect responses to their
survey in hopes of aiding the newly-founded Civil Rights Commission.

Students representing the Coalition of Black Revolutionaries and Allies (COBRA), hosted a sit-in at Gallagher Student Center (GSC) on Monday.  

During the demonstration, COBRA gathered information about the experiences of students of color at Xavier. They requested that attendees fill out four surveys covering various aspects of Xavier’s culture: student life and support, finance and academics, communication and collaboration and representation.

Sophomore Kourtney Williams was among the organizers of the event. 

“We want to document student concerns from a number of different demographics and pass them on to the Civil Rights Commission so they can actually work on the specific issues with the administration’s help,” Williams commented.

University President Father Michael Graham requested the creation of the Civil Rights Commission after student protests brought to light the experiences of Black students on campus. The commision is in the process of being established and is still accepting applications. 

“We would love to see a communication portal between students and administration, an annual renewal of training for administration, faculty and staff, and a reevaluation of curriculums and hiring processes.” Williams added

Williams is optimistic about the progress that the Civil Rights Commission has to make, but she also recognizes that it is not the end.

“With the creation of the Commission, we’ll further be able to have these conversations, and although it still might take a lot of research and student support to back us, the door seems a little more open,” she said.

Junior Olivia Steenberg was also collecting student responses at the entrance to GSC. 

“I’m participating today because I want to use my privilege to uplift the voices of people of color and Black voices. We’ve heard them say very clearly that what this campus is currently doing isn’t enough, so I want to do whatever I can to create change,” she said.

Students can follow the activity of the COBRA Collective at @cobracollectivee on Instagram.

Newswire Photo by Erik Maahs