Dear Editor and Students of Occidental College,
This past week has demonstrated the power and dedication of our community in creating significant changes here at Occidental College. Our current administration continuously facilitates transgressions on many of our peers, more specifically, black students and students of color. By listening to the horrifying incidents that have occurred on campus, it is evident that our administration and President need to take action and respond to the demands (pasted below). Black students and students of color have been treated with the uttermost disrespect, as they are consistently ignored and marginalized by those in power. The protests that have been emerging on campus are charged events that provide the opportunity for our students to retaliate and fight for change that will result in an institution where people feel safe, are free from discrimination, and receive the same opportunities as others to succeed. I am grateful for all the 400+ protestors at our school as well as the numerous organizations, such as BSA and CODE for organizing and maintaining these demonstrations. These students continue to inspire me to speak out and give me hope that we, as a community can come together and fight against injustice.
While talking to others at this school, I found that demonstrations, sit-ins, and protests have occurred throughout the history of Occidental College. While this is the case, many of us do not hear about these previous events, especially the ones that have occurred years prior to our admission into this school. I am writing today to ask the students of Occidental College to make sure that this is not one of those movements that is forgotten. I am asking if we can maintain and continue these demonstrations until our demands are met and our institution is free from the blatant discrimination and vilification that it currently displays and perpetuates on a regular basis. I am asking the Weekly if it can continue to write stories regarding these protests, as this documents its presence and provides updates regarding the crucial progress of the movement.
If it takes months for these demands to be met, let’s protest for months. If it takes years, let’s pass this fight down and have it continue for years. Let us finally create the changes that we have striving to achieve for decades. Let us win this fight that deserves to be won. This can only happen through our perseverance and our continuous dedication to the movement.
Thank you again to all students who created these protests. It takes courage and dedication to stand up for what is right and organize demonstrations of this magnitude.
The demands can be read from the link below:
Sonia Reza (junior)