Everything you need to know about the Black student protest last night

Things quickly turned violent

In light of recent racist incidents on our campus —like hateful graffiti—a protest was held last night to make the voices of Black students heard.

Students gathered on the steps of the Union at 7:30pm, where they proceeded to the Rogel Ballroom to meet with President Schlissel and the Chief of University Police.

President Schlissel opened by saying that he and University officials wanted to hear suggestions. They want to hear, from Black students, what they should do to prevent hate crimes, and how they should go about catching and punishing offenders.

Schlissel addressed the graffiti incidents, downtown and in a residence hall, asserting that hate doesn't belong here. "Guys with sharpies are trying to hurt us," he said.

Students passed a microphone around the room, begging for action.

One student claimed, "We keep hearing the same things, but where is the justice?" She then gave specific examples of racist crimes on campus where no one was prosecuted.

The Chief of Police of UMich, Robert Neumann, stepped in to answer some questions as well.

Students asked him, "Why are there no programs in place?" "How can we stop things like this from happening in the first place?"

Students became desperate, one stating, "We shouldn't have to wait for a crime; a Sharpie, a gun, a knife, my fist."

After tensions rose a bit, President Schlissel announced that he would have to "leave early, I have a family thing. My daughter is getting married."

We asked fellow protesters what they thought about Schlissel leaving the meeting.

A UMich junior, who requested to be unnamed, said "How convenient."

Another sassed, "A wedding at 8pm on a Wednesday night? I don't think so."

From there, the meeting broke up, and students and officials filed outside only to assemble again.

White students, considered allies, blocked State St. and South U. while Black students re-grouped and began chanting, "Black lives matter."

Allies were asked to stand in the way of traffic with arms linked. "They won't hit you, I promise," a student protest leader said. "They won't hurt you, you're white."

The Black students marched towards the President's house, and were angered because Schlissel ducked out of the meeting early.

As Black students crossed State Street, a White man approached the protest line to talk to a woman, when suddenly, he yelled "Shut the fuck up n*****, I'm not talking to you."

This is where things got a little violent. Punches were thrown, and the man in the red shirt was taken away by police.

Shortly after, all student protesters gathered on the President Schlissel's lawn, chanting and asking for answers.

After hanging up their posters used during the protest, students left Schlissel's. The signs read, "We Belong #BBUM" and "Schlissel, WYA?"

The protest definitely drew attention to the issues on campus. To students who are not people of color, don't feel like you can't help out. These are your classmates, and they need you now more than ever. To all the Black students at UMich, we stand with you.

University of Michigan