Students rally against
Pan- African chair
By Mike Pfahl
More than 300 students gathered in the Kent Student Center
plaza Friday at noon to promote student awareness of recent events on campus
and to hear grievances by the members of Black United Students concern-
ing George Garrison, chairman of the department of PanAfrican Studies.
The main focus of the rally, however, was to discuss concerns
about the actions of Garrison toward BUS and the status of the Center for
Pan-African Culture and the department of Pan-African Studies.
"We are here to present you with facts that you can analyze
for yourself," Stacey McMillan, president of BUS, said. "This (problem)
started over three years ago, and it has come to this point. We have tried
to communicate but he (Garrison) has told us we are not worth communicating
McMillan read to the audience the letter that BUS sent
to Garrison, outlining the reasons for BUS' disapproval of Garrison's actions
and the group's request for his resignation.
Following McMillan, Edward Crosby, who played a part in
the founding of Pan-African Studies Department in 1976, spoke to the students
and made a call for action. ! "Black people can
do more with a nickel than a monkey card do with a peanut," Crosby said.
"I have to applaud black students for coming alive. I thought you had died.
I thought you had died the same way the black faculty on this campus has
Later in the rally, Crosby said the admini- stration was
"dragging its feet" when it came to the concerns of black students at Kent
"No one in the power tower or in the dean's office has
come to answer these questions," Crosby said. "When black people bring
something to the power tower, they (the administration) decide we don't
have anything to say."
Crosby also commented on Garrison's actions toward BUS
and black students in general.
"They pay a man $90,000 to destroy something that took
25 years of my life to build," he said. "He's a paid minion, here to do
nothing but destroy."
Garrison, who arrived halfway through the rally, stood
back, listened to the others speak. After Crosby concluded, Garrison was
given a chance to speak and respond to the allegations against him.
"Today, November 21, 1997, is a: day that will live in
infamy," Garrison said. "I am not guilty of these allegations. You (the
students) will live to regret this day. You are far from home and
youl have lost your way."
Ricardo Myers, a senior criminal justice major who attended
the rally said the issues presented are pertinent to the students and should
"This has been going on for awhile," Myers said. 'It's
a shame we have to come to this point. I wish it could be different, but
we all have to do what we all have to do."
McMillan ended the rally with a clarification of the intent
of the gathering.
"I'd like to remind everyone that this is not a personal
attack," McMillan said. "What we're dealing with is here and now. Further
actions will be taken."
McMillan said she urges students to go to the BUS office
in the Office of Campus Life to look at the information that had been gathered
on the Garrison situation.
"We wanted to inform the community as to the steps the
BUS executive board had taken concerning the department of Pan-African
Studies and the leadership under George Garrison," McMillan said. "The
next step is contacting members of the review committee, and.a meeting
with the administration has been set up for Wednesday."