Mixed Emotions Over Black Lives Matter Flag on UVM’s Campus

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Students at the University of Vermont  are showing their support for the protests going on across the country, but people have mixed feelings about how they’re doing it.

Walking around the University of Vermont campus in Burlington Friday, you may have noticed something new flying high.

“I think it’s a powerful statement,” Freshman Caroline Slack said.
 
The Student Government Association decided this week to raise a ‘Black Lives Matter’ flag outside of the Davis Center, the heart of the campus.

The Black Lives Matter movement has grown momentum across the nation, trying to raise awareness about racial issues. SGA is sponsoring the flag over the weekend to recognize recent police shootings in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Charlotte, North Carolina.

School  officials say this flagpole has historically flown flags to support members of the community.

The university said in a statement: “UVM supports free expression, and other university groups are welcome to propose flags with information that they wish to express.”

Freshman Caroline Slack says it’s important the school is supporting the student’s political beliefs.

“Also since it’s a primarily white university, it’s important that the students of color are being shown that they’re cared for and that they’re welcome here,” Slack said.

But others disagree with the decision. Viewers commented Local 22 / Local 44’s Facebook page saying they think ‘All Lives Matter’ in Vermont, and that it’s inappropriate to have an organization’s flag at the same height of the nation’s flag.

Other Catamounts say the flying this flag pushes forward the growing ideas in the nation, drawing attention to racial injustice.

“Obviously, it’s pretty clear to anyone in the country, especially youth there are still race issues that are very predominate in our culture. People try to ignore them,” Isaac Merritt, a junior at the school, said.  

School officials say the flag will fly over the weekend.

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