The end of August at Loyola University is usually an entirely predictable experience. Freshmen unpack their parents’ cars, move into the dorms and say their tear-filled goodbyes. Welcome Week begins in full force; first with the annual Commencement ceremony, then the student organization fair occupies Gentile Arena and eventually both Lakeshore and Water Tower campuses are filled with the hustle and bustle of old friends reuniting and fall classes in full swing.
Evidently, this is not the case this year. COVID-19 led to dormitory and campus closures, as Loyola instead shifted to a remote learning environment to help curve the case numbers in the Chicago area.
Amid the stay-at-home order and general period of self-reflection, a momentous movement began across the country in the wake of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other Black lives killed at the hands of the police. Rather than social reunions on campus at Loyola, student organizers began their call for justice from administrators and against institutional racism.
On Saturday, August 29, seven peaceful student protestors were detained by Chicago Police for demonstrating at the Rogers Park campus. This was only 24 hours after student leader Dorien Perry-Tillmon addressed the protestors’ list of demands to Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney.
Student protests at Loyola have historically been a common occurrence. Whether it’s the anti-Vietnam protests of the 1970s or last year’s protests to unionize Graduate students and adjunct professors, there is no shortage of demands for change from the students and faculty.
WLUW stands with the Black Lives Matter movement — nationally, in the Chicagoland area and especially with our peers at Loyola.
This is a student-led movement that will not be erased from the minds of those who choose to ignore it. Additionally, you can stream Dorien’s Spotify playlist “The Revolution Starts Now” below.