You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Students rally for equality

It was a true show of unity: Wittenberg University students, staff and community members all huddled together under umbrellas, walking side-by-side in the rain in remembrance of the struggles for equality in the past while focusing on the needs of the future.

About 50 people marched across campus Wednesday for the Concerned Black Students’ 45th annual Walkout, the first to include an invitation to the public.

It commemorates an event in 1969 when 38 of the school’s 45 black students who formed the school’s first Concerned Black Students group walked off campus after the administration failed to respond to their 13 demands for equality. With more than 2,350 students enrolled at that time, their demands included increasing the enrollment of black students and hiring more black staff members.

Today the university is smaller, with about 1,750 students. Of those, 112 are black, according to the provost’s office.

As Wittenberg has changed, so have the demands of CBS and the expectation of what the walkout should represent, said Karlos Marshall, outgoing CBS student center representative.

“That’s what this movement is about, all inclusion, all diversity, all voices need to be heard because we all have a different living experience,” he said. “Just making people aware of these issues, I think that’s the biggest thing.”

The current CBS list has 10 items. Some of them — such as having a diversity recruiting mandate, restructuring of the multicultural office and having an anonymous reporting website — administrators have already said are doable, said Moses Mbeseha, outgoing CBS president. Others, such as having gender neutral bathrooms, he said, are meant to show CBS is about rectifying all types of inequality.

“There are trans-genders, there are gay people, there are people who are still searching for their identity,” Mbeseha said. “That’s the whole point, to challenge (that level of comfort) and (say) you don’t have to be comfortable all the time but you have to be accepting.”

President Laurie Joyner attended the gathering at Weaver Chapel prior to the march, saying she was proud of the students and the strides made toward diversity and equality at the campus.

“We continue to be committed to diversity, unity, inclusion and we will continue to work toward improvements that will prevent intolerance on our campus,” she said. “And we will address any and all feelings of marginalization.”

Even if all their demands are met, Marshall said there will always be a need to challenge what makes us comfortable and ensure equality for all, which is why he said he’s sure CBS students will still be staging a walkout 10 years from now.

“My plan going forward is that it will continue to be open to the public as we bridge this and merge this gap between Springfield, as well as Wittenberg,” he said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

John Kasich against Senate health care plan; says don’t ‘rush’ it
John Kasich against Senate health care plan; says don’t ‘rush’ it

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday he is “against” the Senate Republican leadership health-care bill as written, although he said he is “encouraging” lawmakers to “fix it” and not “rush” into passing the measure this week. In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, Kasich said the GOP bill does...
Watch: Girl falls 25 feet from Six Flags ride, caught by other park guests
Watch: Girl falls 25 feet from Six Flags ride, caught by other park guests

A 14-year-old girl fell 25 feet from a gondola ride at Six Flags Amusement Park in Queensbury, New York, Saturday night as a group of park guests gathered under her to help break her fall. The “Sky Ride” was stopped at the park about 55 miles north of Albany when the accident happened, according to CBS News. The teenager was on the ride...
Woman who phoned bomb threat to Kenton Ridge sentenced to probation
Woman who phoned bomb threat to Kenton Ridge sentenced to probation

A woman accused of calling in a bomb threat to Kenton Ridge High School from Wisconsin in December was sentenced last week for the crime. Meridith Rowland, 37, was arrested by local police in Wisconsin during what authorities described as a 40-minute long conversation with the school’s principal during which she allegedly said she had desires...
California woman finds frog in her salad
California woman finds frog in her salad

A California woman found an unpleasant addition to her salad earlier this month, as she uncovered a dead frog nestled inside the lettuce. >> Read more trending news  Shawna Cepeda was dining at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in West Covina and noticed her salad had a bitter taste, according to a Yelp review she posted on June 13...
Clear skies, warm temps expected for Day 2 at the Dayton Air Show
Clear skies, warm temps expected for Day 2 at the Dayton Air Show

While the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will not fly Sunday, the Vectren Dayton Air Show will feature 10 other performances, air show organizers said — drawing large crowds under cloudless skies.  The top attractions this year include a U.S. Air Force F-35 Heritage Flight and U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet demonstration along with Sean Tucker...
More Stories