Protesters demand change to NDSU’s hate speech policy

"I really feel now that it is up to administration to actually listen but until actions are taken then we don't feel heard," says one NDSU student

FARGO, N.D. — Protesters take to the streets for the second day in a row, after several racist social media posts made by a group of NDSU students resurface.

The MSUM Black Student Union continues to show its solidarity for Black, Indigenous and People of Color.

BLM protesters gathered outside NDSU President Dean Bresciani’s home to demand a change within the school’s policies.

“We’re demanding change in policy at NDSU and honestly any college, communities, whatever that prevents people who do racist things, say racist things, post racist things in a real way,” MSUM student Naomi Beske said.

The protests are gaining traction.

The university’s administration released a statement saying in part, “We denounce racism and bigotry in all of its forms. We strongly support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) students, faculty and staff…”

Bresciani says the first step is to start a conversation, but also says students can exercise their First Amendment right.

“We are eager to have a conversation with them because whether they or the university likes it or not, hate speech is actually protected as free speech,” Bresciani said.

Protesters say more needs to be done from the administration.

“I’m really not sure what exactly the administration is going to do but I would hope to see some type of suspension or to have this put on their transcript so that future employers know because they deserve to know because this behavior is literally despicable,” Beske said.

Bresciani says some disciplinary action has been taken among the students involved in the social media hate group.

“The individuals involved were brought in immediately and processed through our judicial system within 48 hours and that’s part of the unfortunate part is perception that we hid that or covered it up,” Bresciani said.

BLM activists say they will continue to use their voices.

“I really feel now that it is up to administration to actually listen but until actions are taken then we don’t feel heard,” Beske said.

To view KVRR’s coverage of Friday’s protest, click here.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News