The Daily Evergreen

Students call out unmet demands

Group sits in at admin workshop, Gonzales refuses to engage with protesters

Co-chair+of+QPOCA+Alejandrx+Martinez+protests+WSU+oppressing+marginalized+students.+The+demonstrators+claim+they+were+locked+out+of+a+Q%26A%2C+where+they+planned+on+demanding+an+official+statement+from+the+university.
Co-chair of QPOCA Alejandrx Martinez protests WSU oppressing marginalized students. The demonstrators claim they were locked out of a Q&A, where they planned on demanding an official statement from the university.

Co-chair of QPOCA Alejandrx Martinez protests WSU oppressing marginalized students. The demonstrators claim they were locked out of a Q&A, where they planned on demanding an official statement from the university.

GEORGE RODRIGUEZ | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

GEORGE RODRIGUEZ | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Co-chair of QPOCA Alejandrx Martinez protests WSU oppressing marginalized students. The demonstrators claim they were locked out of a Q&A, where they planned on demanding an official statement from the university.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

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Students walked out of a workshop held by a senior university administrator Tuesday, calling for action on the demands student activists made during a sit-in in August.

The students called for a public statement in support of the demands, which included drafting a university definition of hate speech, bringing in more employees and students of color and implementing mandatory cultural competency training for faculty, staff and students.

The protest, led by co-chair Queer People of Color and Allies Alejandrx Martinez, called out the university for not following through on these demands.

“WSU is in compliance with the death of our demands for equality,” Martinez chanted, with a chorus of about 20 students joining in on the fourth floor of the CUB.

The demonstration took place outside the Chicana/o, Latina/o Student Center, where Vice President of Student Affairs Mary Jo Gonzales hosted a workshop about careers and perseverance, said Carlos Salazar, assistant director of the Smart Start program and a retention counselor with the CLSC.

The protesters said Gonzales and her staff locked them out of the event, where they had planned to protest directly to her.

However, staff at the center said all students were allowed to attend the workshop.

“They could have come in to do the protest,” said J. Manuel Acevedo, Multicultural Student Services director.

Salazar also said the students had not been locked out of the room.

The protesters said the demonstration was not meant to attack Gonzales specifically, but focused on the entire administration for its inaction on the demands and lack of public support.

“I’m very grateful to be on this campus, and I don’t mean to disrespect this campus, but this campus disrespects me,” Martinez said. “This is not to say, ‘Mary Jo, we don’t like you, Mary Jo, we got beef.’ We ain’t got beef. We got beef with this school and its complicity with white supremacy.”

Martinez said the demonstration’s aim was to protest WSU perpetuating oppression of marginalized students.

Lucila Loera, WSU assistant vice president of access, equity and achievement, arrived after the demonstration began, and spoke as the sole administration member present after about 30 minutes of protest.

“I know that we need to do better, and I know we can and we are working toward that, so thanks for sharing,” said Loera, who also serves as the chair of the Bias Advisory Response Team.

Gonzales, whose workshop ended about an hour after the protest began, did not comment on the subject of the protest.

“Students have every right to voice expressions on campus,” she said. She declined to answer any more questions as she left the area.

About the Writer
IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

Ian Smay is a senior journalism & media production major, with an emphasis in broadcast news, from Dayton, Washington. He is also minoring in criminal justice, and served as the crime & courts beat reporter from Aug. 2017 – May 2018. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Students call out unmet demands