MU community ‘stands in solidarity’ with INTO students


Karenann Flouhouse

Members of the Marshall community gather at the fountain before marching to show solidarity with INTO students following President Trump's controversial executive order.


“Love Trumps Hate” was the recurring theme as Marshall students gathered at the Memorial Fountain Friday to march to the INTO Center for the Stand in Solidarity march.

Stand in Solidarity was a movement created by Ethan Bartlett to show support to Marshall’s many international students in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order signed Jan. 27.

Bartlett said he had heard talks about starting protests in the Huntington area and on Marshall’s campus and waited for an announcement. One protest was planned for Feb. 1 at Huntington City Hall, but nothing had been planned on campus.

“I got tired of waiting and so I did it myself,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett made a Facebook page inviting people to come and walk from the Memorial Fountain to the INTO Center to show support for Marshall’s numerous international students.

“I’ve felt like this was a great event to have,” Ibrahim Mohammed, the new president of the Muslim Student Association, said. “This campus is one of the most affected areas because we have so many international students and domestic students whose families are immigrants as well.”

President Jerome Gilbert said he gives his support to peaceful student movements such as this.

“I think our INTO students are just as valuable as any other student and they need to know it,” Gilbert said.

The demonstration started Friday at 3:30 p.m. in front of the fountain, where Bartlett invited participants to come forward and speak. Leif Olson, a senior philosophy and biology major, read the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan.

“A foreigner is just a friend that you haven’t met yet, and it is important to be their neighbor when they are in need,” Olson said.

David Crawely, the president of the Young Democrats, also stepped forward to speak. As an immigrant from England, he spoke about Trump’s executive order and that a ban based on religious views is un-American.

Gabriel Gray, a senior music education major, led the group in singing the three verses of Amazing Grace. Gray said he chose to sing because sometimes it’s not easy to think of words to express his emotions, but music is a language that can be understood by everyone.

“It was the lyrics ‘I once was lost, but now I’m found,’” Gray said. “I think for a long time we are all in the dark of a lot of issues that have gone on in this country. Now we can see, and now we can work toward a solution.”

Other speakers included a representative of the West Virginia chapter of the Women’s March, students from the MSA and more.

After listening to the speakers, the crowd marched to the INTO center, chanting “Love Trumps Hate,” and “We are Marshall” most noticeably. While the march was ongoing, others joined in to walk a circle around the INTO center before going back to the fountain.

Bartlett ended the march with one final cry of “We are Marshall.”

Karenann Flouhouse can be contacted at [email protected]