SAN DIEGO – Making their way across campus to the middle of San Diego State University Thursday, students said they were marching for awareness and change after the campus' Black Resource Center was vandalized twice in less than a year.
“Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the hate,” chanted the group of roughly 200 that gathered at the heart of SDSU.
“We just have to stand in solidarity and come together,” said Raven Epps, an SDSU student. Epps said the BRC has been vandalized twice this semester.
The first time, back in February, someone threw a brick through a glass window into the garage. Just last weekend, it was vandalized once again, with someone damaged a TV.
Epps said the worst was last month, when students say a car full of students drove by and yelled out racial profanities: “It’s hard to deal with. It was like a joke to them, but it really hits down deep within a black person such as myself.”
“Hearing that experience, from an outsider’s point of view, is shocking and really terrifying,” said Jacob Hubbard, an adjunct professor at SDSU. “It makes me think, 'How can this stuff happen?'”
He was joined by dozens of others who heard the protest and stopped to listen. “I support it,” he added. “The black community deserves to have their voices heard.”
But protesting isn’t enough, supporters say. The BRC wants SDSU police to do more. Among their complaints, they claim every other resource center on campus has security cameras but theirs. “Are we not valued in this community?” a protester shouted.
"Our SDSU community was disheartened to learn of the vandalism at the Black Resource Center, but we are proud that members of our community have come together in strong opposition of this illegal and disrespectful act," the school said in a statement.
"Additional security measures have been put into place at the BRC as of this year, and the university is finalizing plans for enhanced security. To avoid compromising these measures, we have opted not to disclose them in total."
"We are committed to allowing space for difficult conversations, and every member of our campus community is free to express their viewpoints and concerns. We continue to encourage members of our campus community to participate in dialogue with respect and to understand, and to engage in processes that support the betterment of our campus environment and the lives of our students, faculty and staff."
University Police is investigating the incident and urged anyone with information to call the tip line by calling 619-594-1991, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.