May 15, 2012

Protesters Say Cornell Must Advance ‘Anti-Oppression’ Initiatives

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In the wake of an alleged racial incident at the Sigma Pi fraternity, an estimated 100 protesters marched from the fraternity to Day Hall Wednesday to decry what they called the administration’s lack of action in response to the event.

Looping through Central Campus, the protestors shouted “Whose campus? Our campus!” and “Tell me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!” while brandishing signs that accused the administration and the Greek system of sexism and racism.

The group’s destination was Day Hall, where protesters hung a large banner across the entrance, detailing a list of demands for “building justice” at the University. Among these demands were increased transparency and dialoguing about racial issues, as well as the implementation of “anti-oppression” tutorials for incoming students.

The protesters were responding to a May 5 incident at Sigma Pi, in which individuals at the fraternity house reportedly threw bottles and other objects at black students walking by early that morning. Additionally, the students were allegedly taunted with references to Trayvon Martin, a Florida teenager whose controversial shooting sparked national outcry.

Sigma Pi later released a statement saying the perpetrator was not a member of the fraternity, but rather visiting from a chapter at another university. Still, Cornell’s Sigma Pi chapter was placed on interim suspension on May 8.

Check for a full report on the protest later tonight.

Original Author: Kerry Close