Update: The Marquette University Administration has escalated its attacks by now Marquette removes students from campus leadership posts in response to freshmen welcome event protest. Article: https://bit.ly/3eqi6eM
On August 25th, 2022, 10 students of color at Marquette University engaged in a silent protest at the school’s convocation. After harassment from parents and administrators, the protesting students started to become vocal. As the Provost and University President chose to not engage with students about their experiences on campus, a few orientation leaders and other students joined the protest. Provost Kimo Ah Yun decided to cancel and reschedule convocation after all students and their families arrived, instead of addressing the concerns of students of color on campus.
These students decided to protest due to the lack of support for students of color on campus. Marquette has used the fact that 30% of the incoming class comes from a diverse background to make it seem like the university is a comfortable, supportive, and accepting place. Students of color are treated different by faculty, shamed and pushed out by white students, tokenized when they are on sports teams, disallowed from attending this university due to economic restrictions, and are shut down when they try to speak out about these injustices. Just last year there were students in residents halls who made racial remarks that were reported to the university, but the perpetrators were allowed to stay on their floors, where the victims had no way to avoid them.
The 10 protesting students have since been subjected to an array of excessive penalties after undergoing conduct hearings lasting, in some cases, over 2 hours per student. According to a faculty member quoted in the WIRE article posted 9/27/22, “In the hearings, intimidation tactics were used. There were interrogations where they were asking students to name other students involved, here were not educational,” Julissa Ventura said. Last week the 10 students were given their punishments, which included; $300 fines, writing an apology letter, complete 20 hours of community service, and writing an educational program on the demonstration policy. The demonstration policy is currently unavailable as of before 9/27/2022 (pictured below). Additionally, Marquette University’s disciplinary actions are intentionally ambiguous so that students are able to get punished at Marquette’s discretion.
Students attend Marquette University in order to have a Jesuit education, but Marquette is not upholding Jesuit values by punishing these students. As Father Pedro Arrupe said, “Ultimately, we must understand the need to be agents of change.”
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