For months the Black Student Union has waited to speak with USF President Judy Genshaft about its concerns. But a rally held Friday did not result in many answers from Genshaft for BSU.
A couple dozen students gathered at the MLK Plaza with BSU to discuss the recent issue of vandalism to the MLK bust. Another issue was the arrest of two Haitian student protesters during President George W. Bush’s on-campus visit.
Student Thristene Edwards questioned security at the MLK Plaza that could have possibly prevented the destruction.
“Why don’t they have some kind of video surveillance?” Edwards said.
The bust was removed from its pedestal on Feb. 7, currently housed in USF’s Contemporary Art Museum.
Genshaft, who arrived at the rally with her administrative assistant, said University Police are examining ways to prevent such incidents in the future.
“I have to tell you I think it is deplorable that there is any destruction on such a valuable image and such a role model,” said Genshaft. “This kind of destruction is inexcusable.”
Students continued to explain to Genshaft they have long been waiting for answers regarding the arrests of two Haitian students at a Nov. 2 Republican rally held at the Sun Dome for Gov. Jeb Bush.
However, Genshaft remained silent on the issue.
BSU showed its support to one of the protesters who was arrested, Lateefa Morehouse, by presenting her with the African-American flag. Morehouse said she appreciates the support, as she is dealing with legal matters on the subject.
Morehouse said she was arrested for trespassing on the Sun Dome property, even though she is a USF student. She said she does not understand why she was arrested.
Morehouse said the protesters were simply trying to express their opinions at the Republican rally.
“We just wanted to get our voices heard,” Morehouse said.
According to police reports, Morehouse was considered to be trespassing because she left the restricted protest area. Genshaft did not respond to Morehouse’s speech.
BSU leaders were also disappointed at the lack of student participation at the rally
BSU member Marlin Gram said that for an effective rally requires 300 or 400 people present.
BSU member Marques Gundy said many students are concerned about the campus issues, but there is a lack of publicity.
“Come and see what’s disrespecting blacks on the campus and what we can do about it,” said Urvick St. Jean, BSU President.
The BSU will meet Thursday in BEH 104 at 5 p.m. to continue discussing issues brought up at the rally.