Purdue Social Justice Coalition Conducts Emergency Meeting in Response to Protests against Racism at University of Missouri

by Chrishan Fernando | staff writer

Last night, the Purdue Social Justice Coalition conducted an emergency meeting at Third Street Suites in response to protests at the University of Missouri due to charges of racial prejudice on campus and a perceived lack of response by its administration.

Chanel Beebe, Black Cultural Center member and first-year graduate student, attended the event. She said the purpose of the meeting was to “gather the voice of the people interested in the Black Lives Matter movement on this campus really to try to figure out how we’re feeling in the midst of what’s going on at Mizzou.”

Participants in the event mentioned racially charged posts on the social media site “Yik Yak” as evidence that black students at Purdue University are experiencing racially charged speech akin to those faced by students at Missouri.

The events transpiring at Missouri and Yale University over the the past few days have brought have revealed a discord between values of free speech and protection from racial and ethnic prejudice.

President Mitch Daniels sent an email to Purdue students Wednesday afternoon in which he described the importance of Purdue striving to be an “inclusive and discrimination-free community.” The email also cited a 2014 joint resolution from Purdue Student Government and Purdue Graduate Student Government urging university officials to strengthen free speech policies as support that Purdue demonstrates “a proud contrast to environments that prevail at places like Missouri and Yale.”

Beebe said that she feels many in the black community are tired of “politically correct, passive aggressive approaches to movements for human rights.”

“I’m not even amused at (Daniels’) email,” Beebe said.

In regards to free speech, Beebe suggested that there must be limits on what one can say.

“We need to start talking about your freedom to express your rights and opinions and your freedom to oppress another person,” Beebe said. “I think you shouldn’t be free to oppress other people.”

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