BY SYVANNAH LOPEZ and COLE McNANNA // Sept. 30, 2017 //

Friday afternoon saw a Public Forum outside the Student Center, hosted by President Ken Quigley in response to the recent bias-related incidents.

All around were signs that stated, “Hate Has No Home Here,” although some had clearly infiltrated otherwise students wouldn’t have gathered in Westhaver Park.

President Quigley took the podium and introduced members of the Senior Staff and the Executive team as well as Public Safety and Milton Police Officers.

He continued into his speech where he made similar statements to ones already made following other incidents. He recited the College’s Diversity Statement and felt upset that students had not been following its policies.

 

He continued into his speech where he made similar statements to ones already made following other incidents. He recited the College’s Diversity Statement and felt upset that students had not been following its policies.

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Students and Faculty alike join arms to show solidarity during President Quigley’s Speech // Photo by Christianna Casaletto ’18

 

 

While making his speech, students just outside of the rock patio, on the walkway leading into the Student Center, formed an interlocking chain of diversity. Men and women; black and white; faculty, staff, and everything in between added onto the chain to show unity.

Vice President of Student Affairs Maryellen Kiley took the stage next and after a brief speech of her own, many students in the chain took a knee to signal this was not the end.

President Quigley offered his closing remarks and thus ended the Public Forum where only two members of the executive staff made speeches.

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Students take to a knee to protest the end of the Public Forum // Photo by Christianna Casaletto ’18

 

 

The students kneeling remained cemented while Quigley thanked other students for coming out, walking right around those hoping to chat.

He seemed to be running out of time to listen to the students protesting, checking his watch while attempting to walk in the direction of his office. However, he eventually circled back to the students with Vice President Kiley to hear their concerns.

After the brief conversation, the students stayed put for another chunk of time without much to feel good about.

A pair of philosophy professors, Bette Manter and Alan Revering, both explained their frustration that “students feel unsafe and unable to express themselves without fearing hate from others.”

“There will always be ignorant and hateful people but never be discouraged to be yourself,” Professor Manter continued.

On top of that, Professor Revering added that he wished students informed the faculty better around campus so they could do more to help.

Sophomore Jesse Warrington, a member of the Curry Football team, later stepped up and showed his support for all the students still protesting, regardless of their orientation or background.

“Many of my fellow teammates felt the same way but are less vocal about it since they don’t want to be ridiculed by those who oppose,” Warrington mentioned. “But I don’t really care who disagrees with me, it’s atrocious what occurred here at Curry and nobody should feel unsafe and insecure, especially where they live and go to school.”

Senior Hayden Lombardozzi knows that insecure feeling all too well, unfortunately.

“It’s too late for Quigley to start trying to make changes since these problems have been happening way before I started here,” Lombardozzi explained. “I’m transgender, my best friend is gay, and we feel like we’re prime targets for future biased attacks and incidents. Quigley has failed to respond to this behavior in the past and is only responding now due to the heavy amount of press on Curry.”

One sociology professor was heartened to see the kind of response from students supporting Lombardozzi and others, however. Professor Amanda Kennedy said, “There should be more focus on how students feel after these incidents happen and how it affects other students rather than just focusing on the incidents themselves.”

After gathering input from both students and staff it was clear that the majority of responses to these incidents was frustration, but more importantly, support for one another.

Many understand that the actions of the few do not represent the whole but it is safe to say that actions like these will not be tolerated in the future.

However, there is likely still more work to be done to be sure that hate truly has no home here at Curry College.

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