Fraternity vigil remembers police brutality victims

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity gathered university students, faculty and staff together Wednesday night to stand in solidarity for lives lost to police brutality.

Fraternity chapter president, Derek Rankin, said he believes events like this will help strengthen relationships between African-Americans and the police, as well as help bridge the gap between university students and the administration.

“I hope that this gives African-American students the opportunity to not be afraid to reach out to those in higher-up positions about issues they may have,” Rankin said.

University President Jerry Gilbert stood with those students that represented the Marshall community on Wednesday night.

“It is important that we make a statement that we care about people, all people, and that we emphasize that black lives do matter,” Gilbert said.  “Many people have lost their lives unnecessarily in our country.”

Shaunte Polk, sponsored programs administrator in the Office of Intercultural Affairs, said that the event shows that the university is progressive in diversity initiatives.

“Events like the one tonight are important to show the commitment Marshall University has to diversity, it shows that we are not waiting on these things to take place on our campus, but to acknowledge that they are happening,” Polk said. “It shows a very detailed commitment to diversity.”

The Office of Student Affairs is currently sponsoring “National Policing Week” throughout the end of this week to help build a better relationship amongst the Marshall University Police Department, the Huntington Police Department and the entire Marshall University community.

Rankin said that his organizations will continue to collaborate with university administration to continue to bring awareness to what is going on around the country.

Darius Booker can be contacted at [email protected]