LSU students, faculty protest President's executive order

LSU students protest Trump's immigration ban (Source: WAFB)
LSU students protest Trump's immigration ban (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - More than 100 students and professors came together on LSU's campus Wednesday to protest President Donald Trump's executive order freezing travel from certain countries.

"I'm a US citizen, I don't have the risk of deportation, and because of that, I have the ability to speak, I have the ability to make some noise," said Melinda Gonzalez, who helped organize the protest event in the quad.

According to LSU, 118 students enrolled this semester are from the seven countries listed in the executive order. Senior Sameer Farhud said some of his friends are on the list.

"A couple of them had trips for spring break to go back and see their parents," Farhud said. "Now they're like, 'I'd rather finish out the semester rather than roll the dice on not being able to come back.'"

Dereck Rovaris was among the faculty in attendance at the walk-out. He serves as LSU's Vice Provost for Diversity. "Times are tough, but I'm so encouraged to see our students come together and stand for everyone," Rovaris said.

In addition to the walk-out, a group of professors put together a petition urging LSU President F. King Alexander to create guidelines protecting international students and employees. It garnered more than 400 signatures, with most of them coming from professors. They plan to present the petition to the president's office on Thursday.

"I think it's super important that our community know that their professors stand with them, that their professors will speak out against various forms of discrimination and xenophobia," Gonzalez said.

Not all in attendance were in support, however. A small group of Trump supporters questioned whether the protest was necessary. They declined to comment.

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