CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Since the death of George Floyd, people across the nation are taking a stand against racism and police brutality.
Earlier in June, UTC Chancellor Steven Angle released a statement saying “We cannot sit on the sidelines and see lives wasted. Silence and inaction are not the choices we can afford to make. It is past time for racism to end, and together we can change this.”
This statement sparked a fire in some UTC students because they say words are not enough.
Now students are making their voices heard with a petition demanding change in the way funds are used at the university.
Karley Dodson/ UTC Alumni “So we wanted to create this petition not only to show support with the UTC community and the Chattanooga community and their demands to divest and invest. We also wanted to create these lists of demands and show a student consensus that something needs to change in terms of policing.”
The petition has a list of demands including disarming the utc police department, divesting the police budget and investing in underpaid teachers and students, more mental health counseling for students of color, and a student run system for reporting racism.
Jennah Hyppolite /UTC student “We pay the tuition. We keep the lights on. We pay their bills. We should be the ones who get to have a say in what and where our money goes to. UTC students should not be paying to fund police with firearms when students can get consistent counseling on campus.”
A little over 1,500 people have signed the petition. That represents about 15 percent of the school’s population if everyone that signed the petition was a student.
Students plan to hold a solidarity demonstration on chamberlain field on Friday june 26th at 3 o’clock. For more information about the petition and how to sign,click here. https://www.change.org/p/chancellor-steven-angle-call-on-chancellor-angle-to-affirm-black-lives-matter
UTC Officials say they are aware of the protest and are willing to listen to the concerns and suggestions from the students.