UConn students rally for change

WTNH / Bob Wilson

STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — About two hundred UConn students marched and chanted through campus on Thursday night to send a message to the administration. They want change.

Students say there is racial tension on campus and they stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters at Mizzou, who rallied and marched and forced the university president to resign. Now, sophomore Haddiyyah Ali is hoping to bring some of that change to UConn.

“We cannot come to a campus that we don’t feel safe at every single day, just hoping and waiting for a change,” said Ali.

“A lot of times I feel isolated because when groups get together to study or do homework, I’m not invited. They identify with a group of people and I don’t identify in those same groups,” said senior Genesis Quiles-Galarza.

UConn put out a release saying that back in June, they assembled a diversity task force and are in the process to hiring a diversity officer, however students say that it’s not enough. Senior Charity Whitehead is wondering if the administration is all talk or if they’re going to act and make changes.

“It doesn’t take that long to make changes if you really want to. We have seen students occupying president’s offices and what not. They’re demanding change and it is happening.”

Students who organized the rally point to social media as the place where they feel most harassed. Senior Julian Rose says it is anonymous sites, like Yik Yak, that spread the hate.

“We are not asking for love here, we are just asking to feel safe on campuses,” said senior Julian Rose.

The students say if this march and rally doesn’t wake up the administration, they say they have other activities planned that they hope will jar them into action.

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