As students attended a police job fair, a row of protesters stood in silence with signs that spoke for them.
On March 24, Cal State Long Beach held a police job fair in front of the University Student Union building. During the fair, students came and began to take out signs and protest along the sidelines of the fair.
The silent protest held during the fair was a response to the student-led forum March 23 where the Sociology Student Association revealed that an undocumented immigrant had been detained by University Police Officer I. Sanchez for deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Feb. 21.
Student organizations protesting the job fair included SSA, La Raza, the Muslim Student Association, the Future Underrepresented Educated Leaders, Students for Quality Education, Students for Justice in Palestine and the Chicano/a and Latino/a Student Association.
Jessica Howell, a silent protester at the event, said that these issues need to be resolved.
Eduardo Vargas, another protester and ASI associate justice, criticized the university for its handling of both the ICE deportation and the recent knife incident.
On Feb. 25, a 20-year-old student took out a knife in a sociology class on race, class and gender. The student claimed that he was cleaning his fingernails. At the time of the incident, he was a CSULB Community Service Officer. On March 23 at the student-led forum many students expressed their frustration, requesting a timely notification of the event and the expulsion of the student.
“There is definitely a conflict of interest and favoritism when it comes to the expulsion of the student,” Vargas said. “I can guarantee you that if I had pulled a knife out in front of someone or a classroom setting I would have been kicked out of school indefinitely.”
Vargas explains that more transparency and communication is needed and required if issues like this incident involve the safety of the student body.
“I spend about 16 hours a day on campus; how am I supposed to feel safe on campus knowing this student still has his job as an officer and still attends class? That is just something we do not agree with,” Vargas said.
Monica Peralta, a silent protester, spoke about the ICE incident as well.
“This [protest] is a way to continue to support the family but also our beliefs that [police officers] are dehumanizing undocumented people and they’re not being given their rights,” Peralta said.
Peralta says this protest was formed quickly this morning when the organizers found out about the fair.
“This protest is to continue the topic here on campus and to find some solutions for not just us as family members who have undocumented family members but also the student population who are undocumented as well and to make them feel safe,” Peralta said.