Fall 2020 Protest
During the Fall 2020 term, a protest was held outside of Raub-Sellew for 2 days, which resulted in one student being suspended.
Monday, September 28th
First year (at the time) Abigail King, along with other students, were not happy with the actions of some first year students living on the first floor of Raub-Sellew. As it was an (very divisive) election year, a few conservative students had Trump 2020 flags posted in their windows facing the courtyard. King proceeded to take it upon herself to buy small pride flags and stick them in the ground outside underneath their windows. She placed the first one at 4pm, went to dinner, and noticed it had disappeared when she returned. She then placed a second flag under a different window at 6:45 and left to go to CTL tutoring. When she returned around 8pm, the flag had been noticeably kicked over, so she replaced it and had a friend take a photo (which I will post here as soon as I can figure out how to add a photo to a wiki page (you can't, just put an Imgur link)). After taking the photo, King and her friends noticed a small group of boys curse them out and steal the flag. They got the entire event on video, and sent it to admin.
Tuesday, September 29th
A bunch of students talked about how they had noticed the flags, and wished to annoy those who stole the flags, and so grabbed chalk and wrote many wholesome messages on the concrete in the courtyard. These included statements such as "Love is Love", "Donkey Kong says Trans Rights", "Black Lives Matter," and the controversial "Only D3?" which was a reference to how Raub-Sellew is full of athletes, and how Knox is a Division 3 school, as these athletes were not good enough to get into a school with a higher division. Many students who lived in the dorms tried to erase the chalk by stepping on it or trying to wash it away with water. Many who lived in Five-Name placed post-it notes in the windows of their suites which read along the lines of "Love is Love", or "Love has no gender". This night also coincided with a presidential debate. BIPOC students gathered outside of Raub-Sellew to protest the presence of the Trump flags and were reported to have had racial slurs shouted at them from students within Raub-Sellew.
Wednesday, September 30th
A silent sit in was organized outside of the dorms, and about ~33 students came. Protests organized by objectively cool students of color 3rd year Monica Cardoza and 2nd years Manny Pina and Isaiah Simon (Who I believe literally deserve all of the credit) They held 15 minutes of silence which opened the door for other students to speak on what the Trump flags meant to them, continued all afternoon and into the night, where students played music, flew the flag of Mexico and a pride flag, and shared the racism they face at Knox and how unsafe the flags made them feel. At this point, the student in the video who had stolen the pride flag was identified, and rightfully suspended for theft. Alumni Brianna Goodwin and President of ABLE Myla Boyd sent demands to admin that will be posted down below.
Thurdsay, October 1st
Two articles in The Knox Student were released following the events, along with an email sent out by Teresa Amott, and Knox (hopefully) strived to meet the listed demands that send in by students of color. BIPOC students do not feel that their demands were met and felt that the response to them was lackluster. Not much action was taken. The students who had the Trump flags up took them down on their own accord. Rain Garant held conversations with the students to help them understand why they faced so much backlash for their flags.
Listed Student Demands
“We demand that the students who displayed hate speech : Take down Trump flags from windows. As stated previously, these flags represent hate speech that we have heard from these people, it is not freedom of speech. Are immediately terminated from their perspective sports teams (if applicable). Have their scholarships revoked and redistributed to Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Participate in trainings on concepts of race, sexuality, gender identity and sexual assault. And not only go through these training sessions, but also participate in dialogues about these issues. We also demand that : Intercultural life peer educators hold a conversation with the students that have hung Trump flags and the students that have spread hate speech on campus with others that were there to organize and take up space. Knox significantly expands scholarship and funding opportunities for undocumented students/DACA recipients (prioritizing BIPOC). The race discussion requirement of FP, as demanded in the Spring, be re-evaluated with PAID STUDENT feedback, and quickly re-shaped. An investigation is conducted on the Knox Athletics Department for failing to protect BIPOC LGBTQ+ students, failing to adequately prevent sexual assault, and additionally for censoring Black student athletes from engaging in activism around Black life and using their positions on teams to silence them. Many Black student athletes feel alienated when trying to bring up issues of Black life within the department, and consequently never feel like truly part of the team. All staff in the Athletics Department undergo additional LGBTQ+, BIPOC-centered Sexual Assault training. That any and all relationships the Title IX office has with any other department be officially and entirely disbanded, including that with the Athletics department, as to prevent and end unfair protectionism. The athletic department will examine its own culture that they currently uphold and will implement solutions to develop a culture that upholds BIPOC and LGBTQIA students. That Knox includes and PAYS LGBTQ+ BIPOC students in all decision making processes.”
Source: Abigail King wrote this and Sarah Eitel wrote and researched two subsequent articles published by The Knox Student on the issue and edited this page for accuracy. The articles are a result of a few month's of research in Knox's Archives and in-depth interviews with involved parties (and are also award-winning!).
They can be read here:
The protests were not about the flag incident at all but a culmination of BIPOC students on campus fed up with the way they were treated by Knox and administration. Knox does a terrible job helping students of color and the white administration and students on campus are also sometimes painfully oblivious.