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Silence is golden

 

Laub Lounge routinely roars with the chatter of students between classes, but fell quiet on Feb. 2 as students, staff and faculty participated in a silent sit-in.

In light of Donald Trump’s promises to build walls and ban refugees from arriving on American grounds, individuals gathered for a peaceful protest with the message, “Immigrants and refugees are welcome here.”

“As a Psychology professor, I want to help people understand that people of all faiths are individuals,” NCC professor Gina Turner said. “We shouldn’t be passing laws based on stereotypes.”

The sit-in started at 10 a.m. with sign making. Sponsoring the event was the International Student Organization, Hispanic American Cultural Club, Safe Space Committee, Psychology Club, Hispanic Caucus, Pan African Caucus and Forum for Peace, Justice, and Conflict Resolution and the Social Work Club.

“I’m here to stand up for my fellow classmates that I completely support,” NCC student Tyler Fernadez said. “It’s about being a good person. We’re not communicating properly.”

By 11, the lounge was filled with flags, switch-activated candles and signs that gave voices to the silent. Signs included, “We are all immigrants here”, “No human being is illegal” and “More love, less hate.”

Psychology/English Major Annisa Amatul Muqtadir said, “”I’m here because I grew up Muslim and I think people shouldn’t be judged base upon their religion. We’re all equal.”

As time passed, small groups of students stopped to watch and take photos. Often, they joined in, eventually extending the protest to the surrounding halls.

“I hope this event helps, first students, then the whole community,” Counselor Ziona Brotleit said. “Observe what is going on to think critically about it and be especially aware of basic U.S. ethics and rights [and] become active when they are at risk.”

 

*Contributing to this story were Kristen Cervenak, Zachary Prokopczyk, Marlea Harris and Katrina Rankis