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Several reports, but no answers.
Many calls, gone straight to voicemail.
Contacting the police, yet no immediate action.
The Delaware State university students have had enough of feeling unprotected at their beloved HBCU.
Not The First Time
After a recent sexual assault report on January 13th at approximately 5:00 a.m., students felt unsafe more than ever on campus.
With months of repetitive actions and a lack of answers from officials, the students decided to let their voices be heard another way.
Town Hall Meeting
On January 17th at 6:00 p.m., the Student Government Association at DSU hosted a town hall meeting for students to voice their concerns and opinions.
The meeting served as an open space to seek change. However, the students did not hold back, as many female students spoke about being sexually assaulted by male students. To make matters worse, with many of these women, little to no action was taken by public safety.
Many other peers heard the hurt and pain in their voices as they spoke. With many of them being victims of sexual assault, they shared their heartbreaking stories with the audience, leaving the crowd in shock.
At the meeting, the Delaware State students mentioned a list of changes they would like to see happen to feel safer on campus. Some changes included: a sex offender list, escorts, a blue light, and fixing ID’s at residential buildings.
Although many of the students’ concerns were addressed at the meeting, that was only the first step to seeking action. After the discussion, they decided to protest in front of the school’s Public Safety building the next day.
Protest In Front of Public Safety Building
On January 18th at noon, more than 200 students skipped class and gathered in front of campus security with signs and bullhorns to protest for change.
Many students have complained about not feeling safe on campus. Delaware State sophomore student Delyah Fleury, stating that everyone is fed up and angry.
“Not everyone wants to be put out in the open but it seems at this point, being out in the open is the only way things are going to get done… People are angry and yelling, but there’s only so civil people can be when they’ve been hurt or been abused.”
The protest lasted about three hours, and more people showed up over time. It served as a way for victims, advocates, and survivors to unite against rape and sexual assault.
No More Suffering In Silence
The suffering in silence stopped Wednesday, as many students spoke their minds and even called out other students for their wrongful actions.
Students began sharing their testimony in the middle of the circle. Then, they decided to move the protest to the Administration building. Students stormed the building, looking for answers from the university, which is supposed to make them feel safe.
After a long day of protesting, an initiative was finally granted, as a group of students and SGA leaders met with President Tony Allen and other administrators to discuss change. President Allen stated they would meet in the Education Humanities (EH) building on Thursday, January 19th, at 6:00 pm to discuss these events.
Delaware State University students demand change
Students gathered in the EH building for answers and solutions to what has been happening on campus. The meeting began at 6:00 p.m. and ended at 2:45 a.m. Administration and staff stayed until every student was heard.
In an almost nine-hour meeting, students amplified their voices to allow change, which worked as they finally got answers.
The open dialogue allowed for Delaware State students to express themselves and transparently be heard by staff and faculty. One student asked, “My question is for you, Dr. Tony Allen. Do you still think we’re the #1 hbcu?”
All of this started with a protest, demonstrating that in order for change to happen, students must speak up and demand action.
The HBCU students spoke their truth, protested, and got answers from the university. As the campus remains broken for now, students are hopeful that the protests mark one step in the healing direction.