Students protest during Northwestern athletic facility groundbreaking

Friday November 13th, 2015

More than 100 Northwestern students protested the university's groundbreaking ceremony for the Wildcats’ new $260 million athletic complex. 

The students were “standing in solidarity” with students at the University of Missouri and Yale, in wake of the racist and racially fueled events taking place at both schools in the past week.

“We acknowledge that our pursuit of higher education does not leave us exempt from the racist reality that is America,” organizers wrote on a Facebook event page. “What happens to black students on one campus is a display of the racial tensions happening on ALL campuses. The institutions meant to provide a standard of safety have not lived up to these standards in regards to black bodies. Because of this, we uphold the demands issued by Mizzou and Yale students and the demands respective to our own institutions.”

Students chanted “You can't stop the revolution,” and “From NU to Mizzou we care about you” during the protest. After interrupting Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips' speech at Henry Crown Sports Pavilion and halting the ceremony for about 20 minutes, the students proceeded outdoors, where they continued to demonstrate.

Phillips and Northwestern president Morton Schapiro said they encouraged the students’ actions.

“It is about freedom of speech, it is about independent thinking, it is about leadership,” Phillips told Inside NU. “We encourage that on our campus here at Northwestern. 

“Students have a right to say what they want to say. I don't have any issue with [the protests].”

Watch a video of the protesters below:

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