By Irene Rotondo
The Springfield College community came together to March for Action on Alden Street on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 during common hour for students.
Beginning at President Mary-Beth Cooper’s house, the student-led marches branched off in order to literally engulf the campus in the movement.
Chants of, “No justice, no peace!”, “Say her name, Breonna Taylor!”, and “Black Lives Matter!” filled the air as each black-clad group of students, administrators, faculty, and other members of the Springfield College and city community made their way up the street and through the campus greens.
Junior Kyle Glidden, a participant in the march, felt it was a much-needed event for the Springfield community to experience.
“I think it was awesome to see everyone come together a little bit,” said Glidden. “There’s been change ignored for a couple months now, and to see initiative and some togetherness with administration and the groups that have been trying to promote this, it’s been pretty awesome. Hopefully we can keep taking steps forward.”
Sophomore Devon Rosier agreed with Glidden, saying, “I think this march is something we’ve needed for a long time, and it’s good to see action start being taken on campus and by the leaders on this campus, and I’m excited to see where this goes.”
Mason Tosch, a sophomore, said, “I thought the event went really well, I was glad to see this many (people) show up, and also join in as we were moving… it was just great to see everybody, this is a very good start, we just got to keep going, more people… I would love to see more people just continue to build on to this movement and keep going.”
Many students who participated in the march had never experienced anything like it before and were exhilarated to be a part of something so much bigger than themselves.
“I just never thought that anything like this would ever happen on this campus,” said senior Lena Morant. “I had, like, chills when I was marching, and this is my first actual protest, so it was really exciting and fun to get involved.”
Aidan Harmer, a sophomore, stated, “I came to support the Men of Excellence club, which I’ve been a part of and joined last year…. It exceeded my expectations, especially with the fifty-cap rule, so it was nice to see everyone on the outside sidewalks join in, and overall it was nice to see everyone speak.”
However, students felt that because of the fifty-person limit, the event was not all that it could have been.
Many compared the participant limitations of the march to the participant limitations of Cheney Dining Hall and other campus groups, recognizing that those organizations are allowed many more attendees in a much more contagious environment than that of the March for Action.
Senior Emory Fairchild said, “I think it went really well, I think all the speakers– and the student speakers, specifically– did a really awesome job. But, I do wish that more students showed up. I think that, obviously, there was the fifty-person cap rule or whatever, but I think, like a lot of people have said, we had events for CAB out on the green and there have been way more people for those events than for this, so I think it’s kind of disappointing.”
Colby Wilson, a sophomore, stated, “As a person of color, I feel like it’s my duty to be here and get the message out. I would say it went well, we had a lot of people marching, a lot of people on the sidewalks – I feel like that was powerful, but I still feel like we need more people there. We were seeing people walk by the whole time, and it’s kind of frustrating that they’re on this campus and not stopping by when they’re walking by.
“It was definitely a great event, a good start, and we’re just going to keep building off of that,” added Wilson.
March for Action on Alden Street was a historic event, and the students who participated were generally excited to be there. To keep up with future events for racial justice, engage with the Student Society for Bridging Diversity, Women Of Power, Men Of Excellence, and Black Student Union clubs.
Photos Courtesy of Joe Arruda