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Hundreds Of Loyola Students March Against Racism In 'Solidarity' With Mizzou

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Nov 13, 2015 3:09PM

After racial harassment and controversies around minority inclusion in higher education came to a head at the University of Missouri, known as Mizzou, last week, black student organizers on that campus and beyond have been calling for other student activists to join them.

On Thursday afternoon, in a "day of action" organized on campuses around the country, hundreds of Loyola University Chicago students marched around their Rogers Park school.

The organizers said in a statement that students of color are being unfairly treated on Loyola's campus, too.

"Not only do we wish to highlight the systemic oppression faced by black and brown students in collegiate institutions, but also to emphasize the impact they have on their surrounding communities," they said. "We are not fighting to reform or support the oppressive systems that academia upholds. We are fighting for more spaces where black and brown students are safe and no longer traumatized and targeted."

Protests at Mizzou around how administrators were dealing with reports of racial harassment on campus began in September, and carried on through the semester as students faced more disturbing reports of hate speech; A drunk white student shouted slurs at a black student organization in October, and a swastika made of human feces was found in a dormitory, according to the AP.

The Loyola students told their school publication, the Black Tribune, that they would join a network of over 10 schools by "standing in solidarity with the University of Missouri and Concerned Student 1950," the name of the Mizzou student group leading some protests.

The Mizzou protesters have been criticized for trying to limit media access around the protests, and a Tribune reporter who covered the Loyola march wrote that he saw similar tactics at work:

Organizers led students in a brief march around campus in which they chanted, "Not just Mizzou, it's Loyola too!" before stopping at Halas field, where they locked hands and members of The Black Tribune asked the media, not including those from their own publication, to stand outside the perimeter.

"Hey, no media in the circle," Ryan Sorrell, chief editor of The Black Tribune, said holding his hand up to a cameraman. "Sorry, man. You're good, but just not in the circle."

Students then tightened the circle and yelled, "Lock arms!"