Students Rally To Support Mizzou And Yale, To Decry Disparities At Purdue

Nov 13, 2015

The protest was similar in tone to the "Purdue Can't Breathe" protest almost a year ago, in the wake of several black men being killed by white police officers around the country.
Credit Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA News

Purdue University students joined others at colleges across the nation Friday in a solidarity rally supporting students of the University of Missouri.

Student leaders and volunteers shared stories about racism and proposed ways the Purdue administration could fix the problem.

Many students called attention to an email Purdue President Mitch Daniels sent earlier in the week, attempting to reaffirm Purdue’s inclusiveness.

Shree Frazier, an Industrial Engineering PhD Student, says the president’s message was heard, but it also smacked of trying to shield the administration.

“I think he felt compelled to put out a statement, to say that, ‘We’re here to support you,’ Frazier says. "But, at the same time, we know that it was basically just a response so that nothing like Mizzou would happen here. I think he was trying to put out preventative measures as well.”

Diversity and Inclusion Provost Fellow Venetria Patton says both Daniels and the University continually work to make campus more inclusive, but minority students’ voices may be drowned out because of their small population on campus.

“Purdue is part of the United States, we’re part of this society, so we are not immune," Patton says. "Purdue has made a lot of progress around these issues, but there’s more work to be done and I’m looking forward to moving forward and making more progress.”

Students repeatedly chanted, “Where’s Mitch?” but Daniels didn’t make an appearance.