NDSU Students Take a Stand Against Racism on Campus

BY CHASE SCHERR chase.scherr@go.mnstate.edu

The Fargo-Moorhead community was recently shaken when racist posts and a highly-offensive Snapchat group came to light from students who attend North Dakota State University (NDSU). In response to this, the F-M area chapter of Black Lives Matter (BLM) and some members of the Black Student Union at MSUM orchestrated a march around NDSU’s campus, a protest for action to be taken on those responsible for these incidents. 

Students outside of NDSU Memorial Union on Friday Dec. 4. Photos by Chase Scherr. chase.scherr@go.mnstate.edu

“We want justice to be served and our BIPOC community to feel safe,”  representative Naomi Beske said. “We should not be seeing this kind of thing still in 2020 and as a black woman, I am tired of it.” 

Recently the BLM Instagram account had posted a screenshot, which featured the Snapchat group with a highly insensitive name, had posted messages stating that “they were not racist, [they] just prefer white people.” Another incident occurred when members of the group made a video of reenacting the murder of George Floyd. 

“Systemic racism doesn’t just happen in college, it happens everywhere you go,” Beske said. “And if we have to keep marching for our right to end it, then that’s what we are going to do no matter what.” 

NDSU Dean of Students, Casey Peterson said in an interview that NDSU received word of what had happened on November 2. The investigation into these students is, as of now, still ongoing. A statement that reflected this was released by University President Dean Bresciani. But that wasn’t enough for activists. 

“The sheer lack of reprimand in this instance is abhorrent in my opinion,” said local activist Abalon Fyreheart. “If a group of black kids was to do a similar thing, then they would be expelled”. 

Although there are future punishments that may be given to the students in question such as suspension, the school says that those punishments will not include expulsion which has left protesters outraged. 

“We want people to let their voices be heard,” said organizer Elizabeth Campbell. “We want the school to know that we demand change.” 

Students marching at NDSU on Friday Dec. 4. Photos by Chase Scherr. chase.scherr@go.mnstate.edu

There were two marches prompted around the school. One of which started outside of Bresciani’s house on December 5. While attendants were walking, they were escorted by an organization known as the Brown Berets. 

“We were standing with and protecting those communities who wish to exercise their right to a peaceful protest, those who the police or the government will not walk with,” said Brown Berets commander Acae Catzin. 

An active protestor who wishes to be anonymous says that they hope NDSU will take some sort of action if the school wants to be more inclusive. 

“I feel as though racism has been considered a normal thing for too long,” said the anonymous protester. “Frankly, I don’t just speak for myself, I speak for every person of color, whether that would be black, Asian, indigenous. We are all tired of it.”

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