Students protest "free expression zone", school officials on Augustana College campus

Students chanted, "Hate speech isn't free speech."

By Ashley Richmond | arichmond@whbf.com, Armando Ochoa | aochoa@whbf.com

Published 10/01 2016 04:55PM

Updated 10/01 2016 04:55PM

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Students protested outside Augustana College Saturday, holding a march and a rally talking about race relations and freedom of speech.
 
Students chanted, "Hate speech isn't free speech."
 
The students say they were inspired to hold the protest after other students wrote messages like "build a wall" in chalk on a campus sidewalk. The message was written in Augustana's "free expression zone," an area where students are allowed to share political messages. Some students enjoy exercising their freedom of speech here. Others say the messages can be offensive and threatening.
 
The students protesting Saturday say they don't think Augustana's administration has done enough to make all students, especially students of color, feel safe.
 
"So basically in my mind, they're validating this small group of students who support these statements. They're validating them in their racism and their sexism and not even addressing the majority of campus who's offending by this, who doesn't support this, and who doesn't want this at our Augustana community," said Lizandra Gomez-Ramirez, an Augustana Senior.
 
"It really affects me when I have to see myself and my peers and my family be shamed on my campus that I'm paying so much money to go to," Keila Analisaucedo, another Augustana Senior.
 
University officials say they encourage students to protest and express their views and opinions on campus. They also say they're addressing the concerns of students and working to make Augustana a more inclusive campus.
 

 

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.