Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Much Ado about Nothing (not about the play) (07/28/11)
By Phee Paradise
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Monday, January 24, 1994
STUDENT UNION PINK
Students returning to campus after the January break were confronted with pink walls in the Student Union. The administration used the break to “spruce up” the building, according to one of the custodians, who worked on the painting crew. The project included new carpets and furniture in the lounges, as well as new light fixtures in the hallways. Student response to the wall color varied from amusement to outrage.
“What were they thinking?” asked Jo Wenner, a Women’s Studies major. “We’ve spent decades fighting for equality and in one stroke of a paintbrush they set us back thirty years. It looks like they’re trying to put us back in ‘our place.’”
Student Union Director, Amanda Jones, dismissed such comments as over-reactions. “The Student Union needed some renovations, so we hired an interior designer who studied the building and its uses, and presented us with a professional plan.” Jones asserted that most students appreciate the renovations and like the color.
Thursday, January 27, 1994
STUDENTS PROTEST PINK STUDENT UNION
The color of the Student Union was at the top of the agenda at last night’s Student Government Association meeting. Senator Tom Collan, who represents the Interfraternity Council, moved that the SGA take action to change the color. “We’re men,” he roared. “We can’t meet in a pink building.”
SGA President, Frank Miles, told the Senate that he had met with Jones to ask for a change. According to him, she was unwilling to spend any more money on the building. “She told me we can like it or lump it,” he said in disgust. At that, the Senate erupted into chaos. Suggestions for action were drowned by yelling as the senators’ anger escalated. Eventually, the entire body exited Chambers and marched to the hall outside the Director’s office, vowing to stay until she arrived in the morning.
“It’s not just guys. Everyone who hates pink should join us,” Miles said.
Friday, January 28, 1994
STUDENT PROTEST ESCALATES
When Student Union Director, Amanda Jones, arrived at her office this morning, she was greeted by over 100 students. As soon as they saw her they began to chant, “Hey hey, ho ho, pink paint has got to go.” Jones made one attempt to talk to the crowd, asking them to let her pass. When she was prevented from entering her office, she left the building. Later she was seen crossing the campus to the administration building which houses offices of both the President and Campus Security.
After she left, the students settled onto the floor of the hall and sent runners to recruit more protestors. All day, students streamed into the building, filling lounges, offices and hallways. Many brought food to share with those who had spent the night outside the director’s office.
“She’s got to talk to us eventually,” asserted SGA President Miles. “We’ve shut down the building and we’re not going anywhere.”
Friday, January 28, 1994
SPECIAL ISSUE: STUDENT PROTESTORS ARRESTED
Hundreds of students have been arrested for violating the Student Code of Conduct, which forbids “obstructing normal school business.” At approximately 2:00 this afternoon, a cordon of Campus Police entered the Student Union and ordered the students who had been occupying the building to disperse. Students responded with the chant, “No, no, we won’t go.”
According to one of the protestors, a member of the Radical Student Union, the police used a bullhorn to order students to leave within ten minutes or face arrest. Some of the students obeyed the order, but many lay down on the floor, forcing officers to drag them from the building. “Like always, they were brutal,” said the RSU member, who asked to remain anonymous. “But we showed them. We wrote our demands on the walls.”
Neither Student Union Director Jones nor Student Government Association President Miles was available for comment after the incident. However, students have been seen washing graffiti off the walls. Whether they will follow the cleaning with a coat of paint is yet to be seen.
The College Daily Herald commends the students who took a stand. This campus has long prided itself on its activism. In the 1960s students rallied against the war. In the 1970s students rallied for women’s rights. In the 1980s students rallied for the right to drink alcohol at tailgate parties. Soon students may add the right to choose the color of the Student Union to their accomplishments.
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