Listen: Minority protests - St Cloud State university

MPR’s Terri Keefe reports on student protest taking place at St. Cloud University. The protests were instigated by unequal punishment of black and white students after a dormitory fight. Protestors stated that it is only an example of the greater persecution of minorities.


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PROTESTERS: Stop racism in St. Cloud! Stop racism in St. Cloud! Stop racism in St. Cloud! Stop racism in St. Cloud!

SPEAKER 1: Organizers of the demonstration say that they're angered by the administration's unequal punishment of Black and white students involved in a recent dormitory fight.

But as various students and faculty members took turns speaking out during the rally, it became clear it was only the latest example of how minority students say they feel persecuted.

LeSandra White is with the group Council of African-American Students.

SPEAKER 2: Because of the unjust and discriminatory actions that we as students have suffered in St. Cloud in a history of aggressive behavior and a lack of administrative leadership, we have no other recourse but to consider transferring to where we will be appropriately treated without the perils of discrimination while achieving our goals. The time to act is now!

SPEAKER 1: Demands presented at the rally include a 10% increase in African-American faculty members, the hiring of people of color by the campus security force, and dedicating a substantial portion of minority students' activity fees to minority programs.

University president Brendan McDonald told students that his administration is dedicated to addressing racism issues on campus. He says that ending racism is not a simple task.

SPEAKER 3: It's going to take time. I wish I could turn the world around 180 degrees and have it perfect. All of us would wish that. But it isn't going to happen that way. It's going to happen through hard work. Everybody is going to have to join in and work at eradication of racism.

SPEAKER 1: McDonald says that he plans to meet with minority students later this week to talk about their concerns and what actions can be taken. Christy Collier, another walkout organizer, says that she's not optimistic that a meeting will change anything.

SPEAKER 4: Promises, promises, promises, we'll go in there, and they'll make more promises. But until I actually see one of these promises actually being seen through with, I will not take it.

I'll just be like, OK, I heard what he said, but I will not take it to heart. I will not take it to mind or soul with me until I have actually seen some action taken.

SPEAKER 1: Both Collier and LeSandra White say that this is just the first step in demanding action and promise more if University officials do not respond quickly.

I'm Tim Kelly.

SPEAKER 5: Say what?

PROTESTERS: (SINGING) Get up! Stand up! Stand up for your rights!


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