By Bailey Campagna —
More than two dozen students assembled outside the president’s office Feb. 27 to defend the Cultural Center, emerging with a promise for a town hall with Administration March 19.
Interim President Greg Postel, Vice Provost Mordean Taylor-Archer, Provost Dale Billingsley and Pan-African Studies Chair Ricky Jones were about to meet when the protesters arrived.
Jones invited students Brianna Worrell and Joseph Holland into the meeting minutes before it started. Worrell is director of the Engage Lead Serve Board‘s Equality and Justice Committee. Holland is Diversity Chair of the Student Activities Board.
After the meeting, a town hall with Postel was announced, to be held March 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the Cultural Center.
The protesters stood outside Postel’s office in silent support of the students. They faced the windows of the office with signs as the meeting continued.
“The purpose of the protest was just to show student strength,” Worrell said.
Worrell and Holland entered the meeting with a list of demands created by students concerned about the plans regarding the Cultural Center.
Students hope to be involved in the decision making process as the administration moves forward.
“We just want a new center, a diversity budget and to be a part of all decisions made on diversity,” Worrell said.
More than 60 students organized in the Cultural Center Feb. 19 after hearing about the building’s possible demolition from Postel at the Feb. 13 SGA meeting. Students argue that the Center should remain in place until clear plans for a replacement are established.
If the building was razed, university spokesperson John Karman said those occupying the Center would be temporarily relocated to open offices in Strickler Hall.
Karman has stressed that no timeline as been set for Cultural Center work. At the Feb. 22 budget forum, Postel assured diversity on campus was important to administration. He promised the funds set aside for diversity initiatives on campus would remain intact.
Postel expressed a desire to grow funds for the groups as well. He hopes to hire a diversity fundraiser.
Photo by Arry Schofield / The Louisville Cardinal