November 14th Student Activism
On November 14th, students at Bucknell hosted a number of protests and events in response to rising tensions on campus due to food insecurity and the invitation of Heather Mac Donald by Bucknell Program for American Leadership and Citizenship (BPALC).
At noon, students served free mac and cheese and coffee to raise awareness about the Parkhurst Dining Contract Bucknell signed and will not make transparent. Students lined the entrance of Bertrand Library with posters stating that employees in Dining Services at Bucknell make $9/hr, 8 hours a day with a ½ hour breaks. Other posters displayed the massive inflation in the prices of food at Bucknell in comparison to the almost 98 times smaller prices for the same food at a grocery store.
When receiving the mac and cheese and/or coffee, students were asked to sign a slip of paper to acknowledge that in doing so, they are aware of the contract Bucknell signed with Parkhurst that exploits their employees.
At 6:30 pm, another student-led protest was hosted to speak out against the presence of Mac Donald and her invitation by BPALC, onto a campus with a notorious diversity and sexual assault problem. The protest was on the grove across from Bucknell Hall, where Mac Donald was to give her speech. Students made posters and spoke on a megaphone, clarifying that hate speech does not equate to free speech. With the exception of one occurrence of opposition from a passersby across the street, many students showed up and student speakers were met with support, acceptance, and kindness.
At 7 pm, the students protesting promptly headed over to Larison Dining to attend Scholars Speak Up, an event hosted by Bucknell’s Speak Up program to help combat sexual assault on campus. The event hosted a variety of speakers to provide for an enlightening and non-hateful space on campus during Mac Donald’s speech.