Students began protesting Thursday in response to a video taken at a FarmHouse fraternity party on Halloween night.
Students organized in the Trojan Center ballrooms on Thursday at 5 p.m. to protest what they determined was discriminatory behavior in the video and other recent reported incidents that have affected international students, according to Jacorey Haslam, a junior education major.
The event was meant to show solidarity with Troy’s international students.
“I kind of let the driving purpose of the protest be that we have prided ourselves on being this international institution and yet we have these several instances of international harm so we decided to show solidarity with our international students,” Haslam said. “And let university officials and administration know that we are taking a stand.”
“So where tonight is a protest in body, tomorrow is a protest in voice.”
Students met at 6:15 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble parking lot Thursday evening, and marched up University Avenue to the football game. The protesting students were dressed in all black attire and some carried signs.
Upon arriving at Veterans Memorial Stadium, students gathered and sat as group of about 50 students in the middle seating section between both sides of the field.
“I feel proud, and I was glad to be able to join together with other people who felt the same way I did,” said Kendall Michael, a junior communications major from Muscle Shoals who was at the protest. She felt that the protest gave a voice to people who didn’t have one on campus.
During the opening ceremonies of the game, the protestors stood for the national anthem and linked arms while holding up their signs.
Once the anthem ended, the protesters filed out quietly and dispersed.
While the protestors were leaving, a unknown student taunted the protestors, yelling, “Nobody wants you here!” The protestors did not respond.
“Honestly, I wasn’t surprised,” said Michael, who added she expected more opposition from other attendees of the game.
The video, depicting FarmHouse fraternity president Andrew Dearing in a Donald Trump mask and outfit berating another student dressed as a Mexican immigrant, has sparked outrage among students across various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. It has prompted responses from international students, Troy’s chapter of the NAACP and the student services office.
In the video, Dearing commands loudly that two other members dressed as patrolmen go after the member dressed as an immigrant in a colorful poncho.
Herbert Reeves, dean of student services, assured students in an email that the university did not approve of the fraternity’s actions.
“Troy University does not condone the actions and images depicted in the video,” read the email. “Troy University’s student population is one of the most diverse and international in the state of Alabama, and TROY is committed to the cultivation of a positive, inclusive environment.”
Troy’s chapter of farmhouse did submit a formal apology that was dispersed in an email to all students that read, “We sincerely apologize for the actions that occurred during an event at the fraternity house on Oct. 31. These actions fall well short of the standards we expect of our members, and the individuals responsible will face appropriate disciplinary action.
We deeply regret the hurt caused to members of our Troy community, and we are working closely with University officials to ensure something like this does not happen again. We will learn from this and take steps to regain the trust of the University and community.”