Several dozen Pacific Lutheran University students and faculty stood outside the steps of the Karen Hille Phillips Center in silent solidarity with the University of Missouri during Chapel break Friday.
Attendees wore all black and stood in the near-freezing morning air for an hour, just as students left their 9:15 a.m. classes and walked through Red Square to the University Commons.
“Here, we worry about the cold. In Missouri, they worry about safety,” said senior Jonathan Adams.
The silent protest caught passing Lutes’ attention, and some dropped their things to stand with the group.
“Silence is powerful, silence gives space and it gives time for reflection and to think,” Adams said. “We can speak all day but critical reflection is key to any movement.”
“It was a great turnout,” said sophomore Quenessa Long. “Literally we started organizing it at twelve yesterday, so for not even 24 hours [of planning] it was an excellent turnout.”
The University of Missouri has been the site of several protests this year, beginning in September and happening fairly regularly until black football players at the university announced Nov. 8 they would not practice or play until the university’s president, Timothy Wolfe, resigned. The following day, Wolfe resigned.
If you missed the protest but still want to be involved, a meeting is being held on Monday, Nov. 23 in the Diversity Center at 10:30 a.m., where the Diversity Center team will be discussing representation on campus, and creating a list of goals and ideas they plan to pitch to President Krise and the Board of Regents.
In addition to the meeting, students can be involved in their daily lives by “not staying silent,” said sophomore Yadira Avendano. “This was a silent protest, and that’s how we chose to convey the message, but there’s also situations where we need people to speak up.”
“We want to hear other people’s voices and what they’re coming up with and how we can implement that into a strategy of making PLU a better place for everybody,” Avendano said.
“There is power when communities who share the same passion, dream, and goal come together to make a stand,” Adams said after the protest. “There is power in student voices.”