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Purdue students protest discrimination outside Mackey Arena

A group of about 40 students gathered outside Mackey Arena Wednesday night to protest, as fans headed into the arena for Purdue's basketball game.

Posted: Nov 6, 2019 10:14 PM
Updated: Nov 6, 2019 11:05 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Purdue students are letting their growing concerns about discrimination be heard. A group of about 40 students gathered outside Mackey Arena Wednesday night to protest, as fans headed into the arena for Purdue's basketball game. However they were told they were "soliciting" and had to move across the street.

The protest was sparked by a recent incident at the Northwestern Avenue CVS that's gotten national attention. The protesters call it a prime example of discrimination. As we previously reported, junior Jose Guzman-Payano was denied cold medicine after showing his Puerto Rican driver's license, which is a valid form of I.D. in the U.S.

Junior Derrick Cotton said this incident is just one of many that led to the protest.

"There's been a lot of things that have been occurring on campus that have been swept under the rug and sugar coated, but I feel like this was just the last straw because if you can't go in and get anything then that's a problem," he said.

The students are demanding a statement from Purdue President Mitch Daniels, ensuring Purdue's stance against discrimination of any kind. While the students were loud, it was a peaceful protest. West Lafayette Police were present.

One student said they had gone to Dr. John Gates, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, for a statement after the incident at CVS. They said they were told that the Division of Diversity and Inclusion did not have a statement.

News 18 did reach out Purdue. Director of Public Information Tim Doty says they do not have a comment at this time.

The students are planning a town hall meeting about discrimination at SMTH 108 on Monday November, 11th at 6 p.m.

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