SA student demonstration fizzles

By Jayna Ronayne

A Student Association protest turned out to be more sizzle than steak Thursday as only about 30 students turned out for the event.

The protest was held under the banner “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” to represent student feelings toward the Board of Regents on tuition hikes and the lack of class availability which keeps students from graduating in four years.

Coinciding with the Regents meeting, the protest, originally scheduled for noon, began at 12:15 p.m., lasting for about 45 minutes.

The protest began with SA officials speaking from a platform in the King Memorial Commons, along with six protesters marching in a circle, holding signs. SA Senate Speaker Michael Starzec yelled for passersby to listen and pay attention.

“Don’t run away from me!” Starzec said. “That’s the problem (with students)! You’re too apathetic! You don’t have any of your own ideas in your head!”

SA President Preston Came followed Starzec’s lead by saying the administration is lying to students about classes and graduation, and students need to be told the truth.

“Why does the administration lie to us?” Came said. “Deans, professors all agree students can’t get classes. Even Gerald O’Dell, the athletic director of our school, admitted he knows. Why do students, faculty and O’Dell know, but the administration doesn’t?

“We’re sick and tired and not going to take it anymore,” Came said.

SA Vice President John Quilico said he saw “nothing wrong with just a little civil disobedience.”

“The Board of Regents doesn’t care about us,” Quilico said. “I got my running shoes on, I just might get arrested. I don’t see any cops around here.”

Quilico also said he was displeased with the turnout of the protest. “There should be thousands of people here,” he said. “We should turn this into a Kent State or Tiannamen Square, without the killing.”

However, despite comments from Starzec earlier in the week promising physical action, the protest remained relatively calm.

The protest then moved into the Holmes Student Center, with a gathering outside of the Pheasant Room, where the Regents were dining.

“Who’s to say five years from now we won’t be going to school for six years when we’ve been told we only needed five,” said SA Treasurer Joe Kolerich.

The protesters ended by marching past the Pheasant Room, chanting “Board of Rats!”

After the protest, Starzec said he felt it went well.

“We got more people than we thought,” he said. “Students are unhappy and this is one way we could get it out.”

However, while on the podium, Starzec did admonish students for not showing up to the protest.