Protester hold signs and chant (Photo by Coral Nafziger)
By Cendri Johnson
SCC students participated in a two-hour-walkout on Nov. 21, in response to the recent presidential election. The students gathered in front of the student union building with posters and a speaker.
Dr. Cheryl Roberts stopped by the protest. She commended the students for exercising their First Amendment rights, but did not take one stance or another on the results of the election.
Ángel Gonzalez, the Assistant Director for Student Life, was one of the administration members that participated in the walkout. Gonzalez first learned about the walkout when students working on organizing the event approached him in the SLC asking for supplies to help make posters and such. He believed that it was important for staff to participate in order to show students that their school supported them. “I stand in solidarity with them … to show them ‘you have support and you matter and people here value you,’” Gonzalez said.
The students, Gonzalez said, want it to be recognized that much of the hate perpetuated in our world today isn’t OK and they won’t be silent. This protest, however, Gonzalez clarified, was not exclusively political.
“According to the students … it wasn’t necessarily … anti-Trump, they said it was anti-hate,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said that this is the first time in a while that there have been displays of activism like this on the SCC campus and that he’s proud of his students since it takes a lot of courage to actually go out there and engage. Gonzalez said that he would engage in further demonstrations here on campus, if he had the opportunity to support his students.
He stressed that these events are about the students, not him. “I think here’s an opportunity for (the students) to take ownership of their learning and their growth, and I want to aid them in that, I don’t want to lead that,” said Gonzalez.
Overall, Gonzalez said that this was a successful walkout because students were able to make their voices heard, and that people need to hear about these issues before anything is likely to change.
“It served its purpose of disrupting power in a way that brings recognition to the voice of people who are marginalized,” Gonzalez said.