Saint Michael’s students share their fears of threats and hate incidents post-election.
They marched on campus calling on the school administration to act.
Students say St. Michael’s College is known for its sense of community and inclusivity, but they also say the college is not immune to the hate and insensitivity felt across college campus post-election.
Well over 100 students marched across campus to make sure the administration was well aware of their fears and concerns.
“I think it surprised us a bit because of our heritage and what we pride ourselves on doing but sure it’s happening here to and I think we simply have to acknowledge that,” said St. Michael’s College President, John Neuhauser.
He says incidents on campus, after a donald Trump victory, have been unpredictable.
“Defacing of posters, writing on walls, leaving sings, shouting and yelling things anonymously,” says Neuhauser.
Students are not just being targeted on campus.
“There are people who are being harassed online by people who don’t even go here and i think it’s just really sad,” says freshman Natalie Simmons.
Students are asking the administration to do more to protect students including enacting a bias response team and placing cameras on floors of residence halls.
“The fact that the administration isn’t doing anything to protect these people, just really upsets me,” said Simmons.
Friday’s march even drew in the community’s support.
“Anytime people are targeted i feel like it’s the responsibility of those of us who feel all people are welcome to come out and speak out and let people know that,” says Zoe Hart of Shelburne.
The college wants students to know they take threats and hate crimes seriously and act immediately.
“We can’t always be very public about the actions we take because we have to protect the privacy of other students as well,” says Neuhauser.
The President says any changes going forward should start with open dialogue with and among students who feel targeted.
“We have to find a way to restore that, it’s broken in the country, but I think colleges should be able to lead this discussion, and I hope we can,” says Neuhauser.
St. Michael’s students are*also asking the administration to have faculty undergo bias, awareness training.