Peaceful Protest Freezes Adelphi University
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Politics and Activism

Peaceful Protest Freezes Adelphi University

It only takes two minutes to make a powerful statement.

Peaceful Protest Freezes Adelphi University
Emily Elefonte

What comes to mind when you hear the words “flash mob?”
Probably a large group of people who coordinated to perform a previously choreographed dance in a public place at a certain time. Usually, flash mobs are simply for fun or a way to vaguely touch on a social or political topic.

On November 2, Adelphi University’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) put on their own version of a flash mob, that they called a “freeze mob.”

At 2:00 P.M, over 100 Adelphi students froze in place for two minutes, no matter where they were on campus. Current students and even Adelphi Alum were seen holding signs and standing in place on the Flagpole Lawn, in Swirbul Library, and the University Center. They held up signs that read phrases such as “We are not anti-police,” “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and “I don’t have a gun. Why’d you shoot me?” Some signs even had the names of victims of police brutality.

The NAACP said in an e-mail describing their project and its intentions,

“The act of freezing symbolizes the notion that when another one of our own is killed by the hands of police, our world stops, while the world around us continues. Students will freeze one at a time to show how it can easily go from being something you've seen on the news to it being yourself or one of your own brothers, friends, relatives, colleagues, parents, etc.”

Laianna Wright, a Senior Music Major at Adelphi, was one of many who worked together to organized the Freeze Mob. They began to collect the names of interested participants and 50 names quickly turned into 100. Within a week, the Freeze Mob had gained the support of faculty and staff from over 30 departments including, but not limited to, the Center for African, Black, and Caribbean Studies, the Criminal Justice Club, the Racial Justice Alliance, the Center for Student Involvement, the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, AU Paws Radio, Swing Phi Swing Social Fellowship, the Latino Student Association, Black Students United and Public Safety. President Riordan also expressed her support of the movement to Laianna during one of Adelphi’s Open Houses.

This event was truly a surprise for the students and faculty of Adelphi. Although an e-mail was sent out a few weeks in advance, it sat in the back of minds of many.

Many onlookers praised NAACP for creating a peaceful protest.

Some people took to social media to speak out against the protest. Personally, we believe that perhaps they were unaware of the intentions behind the protest. Sophomore Tyler Aracena took to Facebook to commemorate Wright and her team on an amazing event.

“I'm not affected by the stigmas that are often associated with people of color. Just because I'm not affected by them, it doesn't mean that I should ignore them. Nobody should ignore them. I'm proud of you for taking an issue that exists, not just on this campus, but in society as a whole...It was great to see different people helping out on campus, whether they were on the lawn or in a building. It shows a sense of unity.”

Wright would like to offer a huge thank you to the willing participants, the clubs who helped out, and the faculty and staff of Adelphi. The movement would not have made such a deep impact if it weren’t for the faculty and administrators. The freeze mob definitely left a mark on campus.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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