UTC school officials plan to hear students’ demands

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Supporters converged on UTC’s Chamberlain Field Friday afternoon, standing in solitary and demanding change.

“Disarm UTC PD, we don’t need to see cops with guns on this campus to keep us safe,” recent UTC graduate and event organizer Karley Dodson said.

UTC Junior Jannah Hyppolite also organized the event.

She started a petition sent to the school’s chancellor demanding actions like disarming UTC PD, divesting from police and creating a student run system for reporting racism and hate crimes.

“The university is an institution and it doesn’t have the incentive to hold itself accountable,” Hyppolite said.

The planned event just so happened to come after an allegation of possible racial profiling by campus police.

“You know we get a lot of people who are like well I’m not really seeing this, I’m not really seeing that, but unfortunately we have a very fresh and clear example of UTC being over policed of a black faculty member experiencing discrimination on campus,” Hyppolite said.

Dodson and Hyppolite expressed that they want action taken against the officers.

“I personally am calling for UTC administration and police to fire those 6 officers who intimidated Ms. Carson,” Dodson said.

School officials said they are planning to meet with students next week to talk about students’ demands.

“We will address their issues next week. Their leadership and our executive leadership team at UTC will be meeting with them to discuss the issues and quite frankly it’s good that some of these points were brought forward because it’s time to deal with them,” UTC spokesperson George Heddleston said.

Hyppolite said the meeting is a start and is excited for it.

She also said that if demands are not met they’ll continue to fight until they get want.

“This is a movement. It’s not a moment,” Hyppolite said.

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