The group of individuals came together for a common goal: to stand up against racism on college campuses.
The unity march was organized in response to recent racially motivated incidents across the country, such as the Trayvon Martin case, Ferguson and, most recently, the racist chants from Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the University of Oklahoma.
Leading the march were members from IU fraternities Sigma Alpha Epsilon and ?Alpha Phi Alpha.
SAE member Kaleb Sullen said in an email he wanted to prove the Oklahoma incident was isolated and that this sort of hatred would not ?occur at IU.
“Never have I ever felt any kind of discrimination or hate amongst my fraternity brothers, and I want people to know that we really are true gentlemen,” he said.
Sullen also said he wanted all students to participate.
“It’s about IU students as a whole and how we can all take a stand against discrimination and hatred globally and even here at IU,” he said.
Alpha Phi Alpha member Cameron Harris said in an email the goal of the march is to help students of all races and cultures come together in unison to combat racism and hatred on campus.
“It will also serve as a stepping stone for students and organizations that otherwise may not meet to interact and build relationships with one another,” he said.
Sullen spoke similarly when referring to the march’s goal and said they want to unify the campus by demonstrating the acceptance of all.
IU freshman and march participant Nick Moller said the march acts as a way for racism to be called out in greek organizations.
“I want the greek system to be open to people of all religions and races,” he said. “Being a part of a fraternity should be based off a person’s character, not their race.”
Harris said in an email it’s not only important for IU to preach diversity but also to help foster it and develop it, as this is the only possible way for students of different cultures to build relationships with one another.
“For years to come, organizations and students of different cultural backgrounds will see no barriers and will feel that they are part of a collective University,” he said.
Sullen said in an email they hope the march will spark other schools across the country to do the same.
“In light of the community, we hope that the locals of Bloomington can reflect on this stance that students are making on campus and that they, too, can join in unity to fight against hate and discrimination,” he said.