Students barraged through campus during a walkout at noon on July 23, protesting the Board of Trusteesâ€™ decision not to restore the winter intersession in the collegeâ€™s recently approved calendar.
What started off as a small, minimally enthused gathering of about 50 people became a march that couldnâ€™t be ignored, as spontaneous chanting broke out within the crowd.
â€œLetâ€™s get the media to listen to us since the school wonâ€™t,â€ said Spencer Major, anthropology, to the assembled students. Major was one of the students who helped to organize the walkout. No one person was in charge, Major said. Rather, it was the collective idea of many students.
Students met on the steps of the C Building where several people expressed how upset they were about not having a winter intersession. From there, chanting started and the group marched around campus.
The group chanted loudly as they marched through places such as the Shatford Library, even going up to the third floor study area, and the L Building. The crowd also marched through the C Building, passing the offices of the administration.
David Uranga, political science professor, was a participant and supporter of the walkout. Uranga said he was happy to see his students joining in. â€œ[Students] wanted to take action. They felt powerless. They are doing what they feel will make their voices heard,â€ he said.
Many students were worried that the college was going to lose its accreditation because of transfer issues that arose late in June.
Robert Miller, vice president of business and college services, explained the college was not at risk of losing accreditation and that all Extended Spring classes would count.
“As far as I know, it’s all taken care of,” he said. “I’m sure if any students who had issues [transferring because of Extended Spring reading as summer] they will come back for assistance,” said Miller. The classes will count toward transfer, but the collegeâ€™s attempt to label classes â€œExtended Springâ€ was rejected when the Chancellorâ€™s Office ruled classes had to be listed as summer on student transcripts.
Kayleigh Sheridan, liberal studies, participated in the walkout but did not attend the July 17 Board meeting when the decision regarding winter intersession was made. â€œI have no interest in hearing what the school says [because] they donâ€™t listen to what I have to say,â€ she said.
While there were few people in attendance, members of the group said the protest was successful. â€œNow everyone on campus has been informed [that thereâ€™s a problem],â€ said Major.
Sam Resnick, history, also said the protest had a good number of participants. â€œItâ€™s a good turnout for the situation,â€ he said. Since the walkout occurred during the summer session, and this was the first action taken by the group, Resnick was pleased with attendance.
The next protest by this group is scheduled for the Aug. 21 Board of Trustees meeting.