In case you missed the news this weekend, the College of Charleston’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to install Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell as the school’s next president. And in case you didn’t hear the news beforehand, a whole lot of Cougars are unhappy about it.
To protest the Board’s decision, students and faculty are wearing black today. They will also gather for a rally starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Cougar Mall. According to an event Facebook page, they will gather to make signs and learn chants, then march around the campus for an hour starting at 11 a.m., ending in the Cistern at noon. “Then we will again make our demands loud and clear to the Board of Trustees for at least another hour,” the page says. So far more than 300 people have RSVPed to attend the event.
Also joining the students and faculty will be several local activist groups, including the NAACP, The Coalition, Boots on the Ground, and Future for a Working Democracy. Here’s the word from CofC senior Stefan Koester, one of the organizers:
We are planning a demonstration tomorrow in Cougar Mall at 11 a.m. in protest to the undemocratic and non-transparent method by which our next president was chosen. We, as students, believe that our voices have not been heard, our criticisms not been addressed and our rights not respected. Therefore, we are calling on all students, faculty and staff to join us in a demonstration against this entire process.
All are welcome. Professors, if you have class, please permit your students to leave class in order to participate. It is crucial that we have as many bodies as possible in this action!”
Students previously rallied on campus Friday, but to no avail. The local NAACP, the Faculty Senate, and the school’s Black Student Union have all expressed concern over the school’s choice of McConnell, who has no prior experience in higher education and who fought to keep the Confederate flag on Statehouse grounds.