Students highlight campus racial issues

Photo Courtesy of Scott Johnson

Last Thursday, Aug. 21, a group of students, staff and faculty members gathered by the Campanile to have a demonstration about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The group went over the details of the shooting, spoke about the racial bias inherent in American society and read poetry to express their frustration about the events.

They related the events in Ferguson to the daily discrimination that African American students and faculty members face at Tech.

The event was organized by a few students who were not affiliated with an official organization.

One of these students was Hopeton Wellington, who was also involved with the “I Too Am Georgia Tech” campaign from last spring.

“We just thought it was important to bring awareness of this issue to the campus,” Wellington said. “Our community has to deal with these issues on a daily basis.”

Several students at the demonstration claimed that they have been randomly asked to prove their identity by producing a Buzzcard.

“It’s really strange when people do that to me,” Wellington explained. “Usually, I’m wearing some sort of Georgia Tech apparel, so if you took five seconds to look at me before making that judgment, there wouldn’t be a problem.”

On another occasion, Wellington was trying to get back to his apartment at night when there was another student going in the building before him.

“As soon as he saw me, instead of holding the door open for me, he just slammed it shut and held it,” Wellington said. “I just pulled out my Buzzcard and opened the door myself.”

Wellington explained that all students should be treated equally and have a common sense of community.

“[The Michael Brown shooting] was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Wellington said.

“Hopefully people will hear about this and realize that there are issues out there that we have to work on.”

Those involved hope this demonstration will raise awareness for racial discrimination on campus.