This week, senior Grace Donnelly joined members of the Students for Social Justice organization to put up a fenced “wall” last Monday in front of the D.J. Lombardo Student Center for her Peace, Justice and Human Rights capstone project. The wall had information on current immigration policy and the unlivable conditions that prompt them to want to live in the United States.
The wall, meant to simulate the one proposed by many prominent American politicians, was put in place in order to highlight social issues that migrants face throughout their immigration experience, from the poverty at home to the political barriers in the United States.
On Tuesday night, at around 8 p.m., Trump-supporting students put up pro-Trump posters on the wall and wrote “#Trump2016” on the sidewalk in chalk. Students then poured in from multiple places around campus to see the protest that had taken a somewhat contentious turn. The Carroll News feels the wall and protest is a wonderful unveiling of just how relevant this political issue is.
Men and women actively involved in the conversation displayed their political preferences by standing on either side of the wall; on the sidewalk stood some anti-wall students, on the steps of the Lombardo Student Center stood some pro-wall students, although, there were plenty of bystanders watching from a variety of places. For nearly half an hour, there was very heated debate exchanged between the conflicting groups. Although voices were raised, fists never were.
“Ultimately, we want to create a dialogue and have an open conversation,” says Kaylee Quanbeck, junior SSJ member. “Though it seems a little tense, it’s good we all get to have our opinions challenged and learn new things on both sides.” Donnelly explained the wall was built as a symbol of the need to be united. “The campus worldview needs to be challenged,” she says. The Latin American Student Association and African American Alliances have both commented in support of the wall.
The event that occurred Tuesday evening brought forth conversation from multiple angles. While some protestors were advocates for the Trump campaign, others simply felt inconvenienced by the fence blocking the student center. Regardless, the wall created a dialogue among parties, thus achieving exactly what SSJ and Donnelley hoped for. The Carroll News condones these organizations for highlighting social issues and ultimately beginning and engaging conversation among a wide array of political and social views.