Demonstrators protest police brutality outside Alpha Chi Alpha's Pigstick party

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 5/2/15 8:31am

pigstick-protest
Students protested outside of Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity's Pigstick party.
Source: Katherine McKay/The Dartmouth Senior Staff

Roughly 20 demonstrators protested outside of Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity’s annual Pigstick party, chanting “There are two Dartmouths, and they’re right here,” and “Single-sex organizations like your fraternity are part of the problem, Alpha Chi Alpha is part of the problem.”

The demonstrators first marched down Webster Avenue before settling in the parking lot behind Alpha Chi, where they remained for approximately 20 minutes. Several students attending Pigstick joined the demonstrators as they were chanting.

Alpha Chi president Henry Joyce ’16 said he thought that both the demonstrators and Pigstick attendees were respectful. He had heard that there may be a protest during the event and had hoped for mutual respect from both sides.

“I can’t speak for the values of every member of the house, but we want to be an open place and encourage that kind of dialogue,” Joyce said.

While the demonstrators were visible from most vantage points, they could not be heard from Alpha Chi’s balcony or past the first several rows of onlookers due to the high noise levels of the event.

Daniela Pelaez ’16 said that she did not participate in the protest today because she walked yesterday afternoon as a part of the “March in Solidarity with Baltimore Uprising,” which garnered roughly 150 participants.

“I thought that it was awesome that they were trying to raise awareness for police brutality because it’s an important issue,” she said. “It’s alright to take a pause from a party.”

She added she felt the demonstrators were not trying to cause problems, but simply raise awareness.

“It’s a perfect environment,” she said.

Terren Klein ’17, who attended Pigstick, said when he first heard there may be a protest, he was wary of how Pigstick would serve as a venue.

“I was actually surprised at how well it was received,” he went on to say. “I think for them to get a warm welcome is a pretty substantive change.”

Alfredo Gurmendi ’18, who also attended Pigstick, said he thought the demonstrators advocated for an “honorable cause,” but added that he felt the protest was out of context. Gurmendi added that he thought most people would agree with the message, but said“Pigstick is not the place for the protest.”