‘Increase Black enrollment now’: Protestors interrupt Law’s inauguration

In response to the chants that demanded an increase of Black enrollment at USF, President Rhea Law said good news surrounding the topic would be released soon. ORACLE PHOTO/CLINTON ENGELBERGER

A group of six protesters with the Students for a Democratic Society disrupted Rhea Law’s inauguration ceremony on Thursday right before she received the President’s Chain of Office.

The protesters held up a black banner that read “We won’t wait. Increase Black enrollment” while repeatedly chanting “Increase Black enrollment now.”

Board of Trustees Chair Will Weatherford, who was presenting Law with the chain, stopped his speech to address the students.

“Ladies and gentleman, we hear you. Thank you. Please, thank you,” he said.

As the protestors continued to chant, Weatherford shifted his attention to the crowd to assure them the ceremony would proceed as planned.

“You just never know what’s gonna happen on a USF campus, ladies and gentleman,” he said.

“We promised you excitement today and you’re gonna get it. But we’re not going to let it change or distract us from why we’re here, because we’re here for a very special purpose. And that is to honor our next president of USF, President Rhea Law.”

After the protesters were escorted out of the building, Weatherford finished his speech and continued with the ceremonial process.

Law mentioned the protestors in her own speech, stating good news would be released in the near future to address concerns on Black enrollment.

“To those who just spoke a few moments ago, I just want to say that we’ve been working very hard on Black enrollment. In fact, we have some great news to share which will be coming soon,” she said.