MSU students want the state flag taken down, as its confederate symbol is offensive to minorities.
Wednesday, April 13, students at Mississippi State University staged a sit-down protest on campus from noon to 3:00pm, asking MSU president, Mark Keenum, to take down the state flag due to the Confederate emblem.
Keenum responded to the students: “As President of Mississippi State University and as an individual, I have consistently supported changing the state flag of Mississippi because I believe it is the right thing to do.” He said he would work toward uniting Mississippians behind a new state flag.
The students also gave the president a list of demands:
- The state flag on campus needs to be taken down.
- Equalized funding and support for Black student organizations.
- Minority Faculty representation. They stated “We want more professors who look like us.”
- Retention and graduation rates of African Americans. African Americans are being retained at a lower rate, and have a lower graduation rate. They want special programming, resources, and counseling services.
- Diversity and sensitivity training.
- Safe space for black students on campus – away from the daily stresses of navigating white spaces. It would be intended for black students, but would be open to other minority students.
- Inclusive environments, including transgender bathrooms on campus.
- Equal and fair treatment of our events, concerts and programs.
- End discrimination in housing between north and south sides of the campus.
- More physical health and mental wellness support and services for black students.
The university responded to the demands with this statement: “Several of the demands require data-driven responses. We will need to analyze and crunch the numbers, and as soon as this is completed an evaluation will be done. We have been asked how long this will take. I do not anticipate that being very long.”
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