Justice for Students of Color at Loyola: Hold Loyola PD accountable
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Loyola University Chicago (LUC) once again failed to live up to the values it espouses. On Saturday February 24th, two students of color were attacked by Campus Police officers, who used excessive force with both students. Students were attempting to advocate against Campus Safety’s targeting of two black community members attempting to attend the basketball game who had been stopped and frisked. When the students demanded answers from Campus Police, the officers became aggressive and the situation escalated. One student was thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and held in a Campus Police vehicle. The crowd of students demanded his release because the student verbally communicated that he was a student and complied with the officers orders to produce a Loyola ID. A second student was pushed against a wall and was held by her shirt when she demanded to know why her fellow student was being arrested. Administrators were on the scene and failed to ensure that the detained student would be safe. Despite administration and Campus Police’s encouragements to leave, the students stood firmly against the injustice by gathering in front of the vehicles and preventing them from leaving. The detained student was released after 45 minutes of confinement within the vehicle.
This situation demonstrates that the promise LUC makes — for a diverse, welcoming community — is an empty one. This is proof that while LUC likes to advertise diversity, social justice, and inclusion, it puts neither thought nor action into providing a space in which students of color can pursue their education, live, or even go to a basketball game without fear of being discriminated against, targeted, and even physically harmed.
As such, the students involved in the events of February 24th have compiled a list of demands for LUC. These are the steps they can take to live up to the promise they made to all students.
1. A statement of apology on behalf of the entire University, not just Campus Police, taking full responsibility for their actions, and promising that they will never physically assault students again.
2. No police or university repercussions for the students involved, as they did not violate federal or Illinois law, or the LUC Community Standards
3. Hold LUC Campus Police accountable for the actions they took against Campbell and Fernandez
4. Establish legitimate, direct channels for complaints against university power structures and associated faculty, staff, and employees with student ability to open investigations, as well as the ability to actively engage in these investigations with transparency and clarity from administrators handling said investigations.
5. Reaffirm and materialize LUC’s commitment to students of color as stated in Plan 2020
We do not want empty words of commitment and unity. We want transparent, well-defined goals that are a promise to do better. The students of LUC will hold you accountable for these goals and we demand action now.
African Student Alliance
Black Cultural Center
Students for Reproductive Justice
Loyola Socialists- International Socialist Organization
Loyola Young Democratic Socialist Association
Students for Justice in Palestine
Loyola College Democrats
Womxn in Leadership Loyola
Loyola Worker Coalition
Undocumented and Proud Loyola
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