On Friday, January 20 students gathered at 2pm in the DSU Circle for a peaceful walk around the main campus to demonstrate solidarity for survivors of sexual assault/harassment.
This comes in light of Wednesday’s student-organized protest and Thursday evening’s town hall meeting that called for change on DSU’s campus regarding security and sexual assault or harassment.
Demonstrators met in the DSU circle in front of the Wellness Center. To kick off the event, words of encouragement were given for survivors to remain strong and for the physical and mental protection of all students at DSU.
Organizers addressed participants by stating “We advocated but it wasn’t enough until we see change. We need to change the atmosphere on campus!” Another organizer implored “Help us be the change we want to see, not only on campus but wherever we go.”
Holding up signs and starting from the DSU circle, the march went past the basketball courts to freshman dorms Medgar W. Evers and Meta V. Jenkins Hall, continued to the other side of Evers, in front of Memorial Hall, down to Tubman Laws Hall and up College Road to the University Courtyards. Drivers passing and being held up by the crowd honked their horns to show their support.
Occasionally taking breaks for the group to catch up, supporters yelled chants such as “Sexual assault has got to go,” “Hold your friends accountable,” “Protect Black women,” “Protect Black men,” “Enough is enough,” “No means no,” and more.
“Students have told me they are scared to come outside, and Public Safety hasn’t done anything. Hold your friends accountable,” said Kay, a junior public health major. Many students could be seen looking through their windows at the crowd, some even leaving their rooms to join.
The crowd made it’s way back to campus and stopped in front of the Counseling Services cottage, where its director came out and commended students for their bravery and reassured them the use of their voices have already begun to bring about change on campus. The crowd then stopped in front of public safety where officers could be seen looking through the blinds as students approached, but none came out to acknowledge marchers. Next, the students circled the University Village and finally ended the walk back at its starting point.
Both organizers and participants gave closing remarks to thank everyone for supporting the cause, reminding them to be persistent in making noise until things change for the better.