Wingate praises 'Black Lives Matter' protest violating COVID restrictions
- Wingate University promoted an on-campus protest that appears to have violated state and university restrictions on in-person gatherings.
- The school encouraged students to "wear masks and respect social distancing guidelines."
A Black Lives Matter protest held on the campus of Wingate University in North Carolina appeared to ignore state regulations on outdoor gatherings, but the school promoted the gathering multiple times on social media anyway.
Meanwhile, the school is still holding some classes online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On August 30th, student-athletes held a Black Lives Matter protest on Wingate’s campus. These student-athletes marched “from the football stadium through the campus." Based on photos from the protest on Twitter, all protesters were wearing masks unless they were speaking with a microphone or megaphone.
At the time of the protest, the state of North Carolina was in "Phase 2" of its reopening plan, which limited outdoor gatherings to 25 people.
On Wingate University's website, Dean of Campus Life Mick Reynolds wrote that "the state limit on outdoor gatherings is 25," and "students who disregard these requirements, both on and off-campus, may be subject to community standards action."
Kristen Johnson Yost, the executive director of digital communications and a university spokesperson for Wingate, told Campus Reform that there was little interference by the university when students inquired about hosting the protest.
“Students organized and promoted the march. We encouraged them to wear masks and respect social distancing guidelines," Yost said.
[RELATED: Portland Black Studies prof: BLM movement has been 'hijacked']
The official Twitter for Wingate University Athletics posted a statement saying “Today Wingate student-athletes formed a peaceful protest, marching from the football stadium throughout the campus! Thanks to those that helped put it together and to those that came out to show your support!!! #BlackLivesMatter #OneDog” along with some images from the protest and later posted a video featuring clips from the protest and speakers.
Today Wingate student-athletes formed a peaceful protest, marching from the football stadium through the campus!— Wingate Bulldogs (@WU_Bulldogs) August 30, 2020
Thanks to those that helped put it together and to those that came out to show your support!!#BlackLivesMatter #OneDog pic.twitter.com/e8M206MM7O
The official Twitter account for Wingate University retweeted a tweet from Wingate Provost Jeff Frederick. In thetweet, he said “Thoughtful, peaceful, passionate (masked) march for justice today @WingateUniv Students are using their platform, telling their stories, and lifting each of us fortunate to be present. I believe in this generation and in this moment. @CoachKirkland”.
A third-year student at Wingate who wished to remain anonymous for fear of backlash told Campus Reform that the student protest is “annoying and hypocritical."
“Honestly, I don’t even care that they went out and protested. Is it annoying and hypocritical that they can protest but we can’t go to class? Yes. But that’s just what you expect from the left nowadays. What I’m more concerned with is the fact that a campus that prides itself on being #OneDog (one big Bulldog family) has sunken to a level of divisiveness so quickly."
"The reason I came to Wingate was for the family atmosphere and to see such toxic behavior taking place, especially by the people who are supposed to be role models for the school, is extremely disheartening. The fact that the administration has not issued a statement on this at all is also very telling, but not surprising. Conservative values are without a doubt under attack at Wingate and I am genuinely worried about how this campus will look for the months leading up to and following the election," the student said.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @allisonrobison_