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Protesters at HSU continue to occupy the Native Forum
ARCATA - The Unified Students of Humboldt are still going strong Wednesday, as the second day of the sit-in at HSU continues. It is being held in what is commonly known as the Native American Forum, but students are now calling it the Bolman Forum, in honor of Dr. Jacquelyn Bolman, who was fired from HSU in the fall. The Unified Students of Humboldt as well as various supporters are protesting peacefully and harmoniously, however they are willing to stay as long as it takes until their voice is heard.
The Unified Students of Humboldt formed shortly after Dr. Bolman, the former director of the Indian Natural Resource, Science And Engineering Program , INRSEP, was abruptly let go by the University. Protesters say, she enriched their lives and was like a mother to them. They are still very hurt by what happened and they want her reinstated as the director of INRSEP. The Unified Students of Humboldt have several requests but say administration is not coming to speak with them.
"It really strikes at the core of the problem that we're facing. That our administration at HSU is completely out of touch with the students that it serves. We have met with them in the past but nothing has come out of those meetings. That's why we're here,” said Connor Handley, a Unified Students of Humboldt Member.
"Instead of sending a representative down here, they sent an armed police officer, in uniform, badge blazing, respect my authority, as if to say, to demonstrate; hey we have the police, we have the cops, they do what we tell them to do, so you better do what we tell you to do," said Michael A. Ramirez, a Unified Students of Humboldt Member.
Another member, Coaxoch, said, “It make me feel that regardless of me wanting to raise my voice and say something, that it's invalidated. So, I'm not going to stand back until I am validated because my opinion matters just as much as anybody's."
Students would like to see the dissolution of RISS, which is Retention and Inclusion of Student Success and their programs moved back to how they were prior. Plus, they want to operate and participate in these programs. The students want equal voting power in the hiring, promotion, and dismissal procedures that happen with their faculty and staff.
“They want a voice, they want to be heard, they've got some things that they'd like to have dialogue on and there's been no hostility at all,” said HSU Chief of Police, Donn Peterson.
HSU Administration declined to comment on the issue and directed questions to the HSU Chief of Police.