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Speech class students protest their muted voices

October 25, 2012

 

KELSY KERSHAW
Staff Reporter

 

A group of students in white T-shirts with white duct tape and a black “X” covering their mouths walked across campus protesting on Monday.

 

Chelsea Walker, a senior psychology major, said they were protesting their muted voice in the multicultural center.

 

“In the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ mission statement, it says ‘[They strive to] create learning and working environments on campus where students of color are empowered through educational, social and leadership initiatives at Louisiana Tech University,’” Walker said. “It says they only welcome people of color.”

 

Walker, along with her speech classmates, said they found it ironic that it is specific to just people of color.

 

“Multicultural is not about your race,” she said. “It is more about your ethnicity and your background.”

 

For class as a group, Walker said they decided protest their muted voices at the multicultural center.

 

“We dressed alike and made three signs that we held as we walked across campus,” she said. “The signs said, ‘multicultural lounge excludes me,’ ‘the unfairness of fair skin’ and ‘multicultural lounge equals my muted voice.’”

 

They dressed in the white shirts and had the white males wear the white tape with a black “X” on it to represent the majority group that was being excluded from the multicultural center, Walker added.

 

“The tape with the “X” represented their muted voice,” she said. “It showed that they could not have a place to hang out here [multicultural center].”

 

Walker said they also had the opportunity to sit and talk with the International Student Association president and the International Student Office president.

 

“This was all for a project in our argumentation class, Speech 300,” she said.

 

As they walked across campus they explained to students who asked, what they were doing and why, Walker said.

 

They walked through the Quad, the Student Center, Centennial Plaza and Tolliver until they eventually ended up at the Office of Multicultural Affairs, William Long, a junior accounting major, said.

 

“We ended it with a sit-in in the multicultural lounge,” Long said. “We protested to show them that they need to be accommodating to people of all races when dealing with cultural ties, because the two are not the same.”

 

He said the class chose this topic to protest not only because it was ironic to them, but because it upset them as well. When they were questioned by students, Long said the students expressed confusion.

 

“They asked us why the white males were muted and silenced,” he said.

 

The females of the group explained to the bystanders that these males were muted for the wrong reasons, he added.

 

“We may not be people of color but we are still a part of culture,” he said. “Therefore, we should be able to feel welcomed in the multicultural lounge.”

 

Email comments to kjk016@latech.edu.

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