Yotes Against Hate protest harassment of minority students at USD
3 mins read

Yotes Against Hate protest harassment of minority students at USD

“I-O, oppression has got to go.”

This was what a group of about 20 USD students united as Yotes Against Hate chanted Monday morning as they convened at the Coyote Legacy statue in front of the Muenster University Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to speak out against reported cases of harassment on campus that have occurred since election night.

“Obviously, the incidences of harassment are going to be tied somehow to the election but considering we want to keep this non-political, there’s not much to be said on that,” said Sam Sharpe, a first-year law student.

These incidences of harassment have included reports of a woman in a hijab being yelled at, as well as a note being slipped under a student’s door containing a racial slur with Trump written on the other side.

“We’re protesting hate, discrimination and oppression and saying everyone needs to be loved,” said Megan Swets, a sophomore English and communication studies major. “Really, I’m frustrated by the hate I’ve seen in the world and on campus.”

Signs featured messages such as “Consider others,” “Love is love is love,” “teach peace” and “I love you.” There was one student giving free hugs and protest organizer Chelsea Gilbertson handed out free cookies. Compliments were yelled out at people passing by.

“Everyone should be accepting and loving,” Swets said. “I’d love to help spread that message.”

Sharpe said the protest promotes spreading love at USD.

“This protest is sending the message that there is a dedicated organized contingent of students that is ready, willing and able to stand up to harassment and oppression,” Sharpe said. “Right now, the protest seems to show that we’re getting together, we’re not going to stand for incidences of hate on campus and building this core group of people into a large contingent of people on campus.”

Collette Bowman, a senior psychology major, joined YAH for the protest bearing a sign that read, “we all bleed the same color.”

“I am part of a minority group so I am spreading the message that everyone is created equal not based on their race, religion or sexuality,” Bowman said. “It shouldn’t change who they are as a person because in their core, in their soul, they’re a human being and everyone deserves the same amount of respect as everyone else.”

Bowman said she was happy to spread the idea of solidarity.

“I hope to continue to promote the message that intolerance won’t be accepted and neither will discriminatory actions,” Bowman said. “If something does happen, there’s a group out there to speak up against it.”

The members of YAH said they hope to continue to stand as a peaceful group on campus, a place of refuge for marginalized and oppressed people.

“We’re spreading the message that USD should be a welcoming and opening campus to everyone in all walks of life,” Bowman said.