December 16, 2017

UPDATED: Webster’s Gateway campus reopens following downtown protests

Updated at 4:30, Sept. 21

Webster University’s Gateway campus reopened Tuesday, September 19 following protests near the campus.

Director of Public Relations Patrick Giblin said the university will continue to monitor the protests in the downtown area, but there is no immediate safety issue.

Updated at 1:42, Sept 18 

Webster University’s Gateway campus will remain closed Monday, September 18 for safety reasons, according to Webster’s Twitter page.

The Gateway Campus closed Friday, September 15 due to anticipation of protests in the area following the verdict of the Jason Stockley trial.

The Journal will update this story as more information becomes available.  

Updated at 5:35, Sept 17

Webster students Makenna Burton and Miranda Alexander were released from jail following an arrest during the Jason Stockley trial protests Friday, September 15.   

Alexander was locked up for 14 hours. The St. Louis chapter of the National Lawyer’s Guild (NLG) assisted with the release, according to Alexander’s Facebook.

The NLG is a national organization designed to use the law and unite lawyers across multiple disciplines to service those valuing human rights over property interests.  The NLG chapter in St. Louis established a “Funded Justice” page used to raise money for activists in the St. Louis region seeking legal help.

The Webster Journal will update this story as more information becomes available.  

Updated at 4:45, Sept. 15 

Burton, bottom right, kneels in front of a bus filled with officers attempting to leave the protest area. PC: Sara Bannoura, Managing Editor

Burton, bottom right, kneels in front of a bus filled with officers attempting to leave the protest area.
PC: Sara Bannoura, Managing Editor

Makenna Burton wears a blood red scarf over her face and carries a bright orange sign as she positions herself in front of a slow moving bus filled with police officers.  She said many of the officers were the same officers she encountered at the Workhouse protests in July.

“They were incredibly violent with us,” Burton said. “I had two officers threaten to rape me, we were pepper sprayed and tear gassed. So, we do not have a good history with the St. Louis Police Department.”

Burton, along with Miranda Alexander, are two Webster University students taken into custody during the protests that followed the Jason Stockley trial.

The Webster Journal will update this story as more information becomes available.  

Updated at 11:30, Sept. 15 

The Webster and St. Louis community remain on alert following the verdict of the Stockley trial. Former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty of killing 24-year old Anthony Lamar Smith Friday, September 15.  

Webster said classes will remain in session in a press release regarding student and faculty safety. The university recognizes how the verdict may impact the lives of those who consider the Webster Groves campus their home campus.  

“We want to reassure our community members, particularly those who are unfamiliar with the St. Louis area, that the home campus in Webster Groves is a safe, welcoming place that enables connections, discourse and debate in a respectful manner,” the press release said.

The Webster University’s Association for African American Collegians (AAAC) said it is saddening to live in a time where there are unnecessary killings with no one held responsible.  

“As students of color in the city of St. Louis, this is not the first time we have had to deal with a situation in which we believe justice didn’t protect or include us,” the AAAC said. “As people of color in the world, this will not be the last situation in which we believe justice will not protect or include us.”  

The AAAC statement said the solution to the community frustration is to care.  

“Care so much that you have to do something,” the AAAC said.  “Create a plan of action for change in your own community or start a dialogue with someone who may have a different point of view than you have.  Do whatever you can to show that you’re willing to make a change in order to change this country and the way it deals with these types of situations.”

Webster Public Safety and Administration are monitoring the response to the verdict in order to make appropriate decisions regarding student and faculty safety. According to the Webster press release, they do not anticipate these events to directly affect campus operation. Any decisions regarding campus operation will be communicated to students and faculty via Webster Alerts, social media and the website.

If parents wish to receive Webster Alerts on their phones or emails, administration and public safety said to have students add numbers directly to the Webster Alerts account. Student’s Webster Alerts accounts can be found on the Connections Homepage.

 

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