2:48 PM-Event itself starts at 3 PM. One count estimates 150 students participating, and a few people are still trickling in. Students mostly sitting, talking quietly, respectfully, no chanting yet. Organizers walking around taking care to make sure demonstrators do not block doors. Several cameras present, unsure who they represent.
2:51 PM-Remark: Students distribute rainbow, pink triangle badges w/tape, pins. Signs ran out, but they read
We support you
Hold Father Wild Accountable
3:04 –MUProtestMay6 Tweeting from inside meeting.
Meeting is coming to order
“Pow wow” to commence among demonstrators momentarily.
3:07-Crowd falls silent.
3:10-Pow wow. Student asked to circle.
Details for “listening session” on decision on the Senate’s decision today. (Meeting itself could run until 5 PM). “Listening session” will be 5:30 in AMU ballrooms tomorrow. Admin. will explain decision.
The demonstration organizer is planning on breaking us into groups of three. (Update: There was talk of breaking up into groups of five.) Groups-of-three will read list of demands (all the while trying to keep things “upbeat” and “respectful”), and then leave in protest.
One organizer states: “We’re done listening.”
Aftermath: I was struck by the outpouring of support at the busiest time of year. Moreover, the diversity of the students showing support was heartening for the future–I saw an acquaintence deeply involved in liturgical choir, and possibly the most devoutly Catholic women I know spoke of being “fired up,” and brainstorming possible gestures of protest at graduation.
This isn’t just secular humanists protesting. (Ahem.) The Catholics also see this as an affront of Marquette’s stated values, Jesuital ecclecticism, and basic human decency.
Results: The Senate did pass a resolution condemning, among other things, a lack of transparency and committment to shared governance on behalf of those responsible for the rescinding of O’Brien’s offer. I will post the full text of the resolution when it becomes available. MUMay6Protest is not pleased:
No censure. No vote of on confidence. Thex reaffirmed the non discrimination policy. Considering a vote of no confidence in the fall.
Dr. Nancy Snow, probably O’Brien’s fiercest advocate on campus, described the decision as “weak” and encouraged students to “keep the pressure on.”
Special Comment: Honestly, I think it’s best we could have realistically expected. O’Brien supporters and Wild protesters* don’t have to be happy about it, but it’s no occassion for vitriol.
*I consider myself among the latter, being categorically against homophobia, yet not prepared yet to pass judgment on O’Brien’s qualifications