The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Provost C. Cybele Raver notifies Vanderbilt community about sit-in, includes video of students entering Kirkland Hall

The video shows students and a Community Service Officer pushing each other at the door of Kirkland Hall.
Katherine Oung
Students protest for the BDS referendum to go to a vote, as photographed on March 26, 2024. (Hustler Multimedia/Katherine Oung)

Provost C. Cybele Raver emailed the Vanderbilt community at approximately 10:45 p.m. CDT about the ongoing sit-in at Kirkland Hall. Protestors have been inside Kirkland Hall since 9 a.m. CDT demanding that the Vanderbilt administration allow the student body to vote on a VSG constitutional amendment to prevent VSG funds from being used on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement’s targets. 

The email largely mirrored a statement sent to The Hustler from the university earlier today. In addition to outlining the timeline of the protests, the arrest of Nashville Scene reporter Eli Motycka and the university’s on-the-ground response, the email reinforced the university’s stated commitment to freedom of expression and civil discourse. 

“The war in Gaza and the passionate opinions on all sides of the issue pose a test of our commitment to free expression and respectful dialogue,” the email reads. “Tonight, I urge each of us to reflect on how we can continue to do the hard work of voicing our opinions and advocating for what we care about while at the same time respecting and preserving this vital community that enables us to do so much more together than we could do alone.” 

The email included a link to a video showing security footage from this morning when protestors initially entered the building. In the video, an officer unlocks and slightly opens a door to speak to protesters. After a moment, one protester pulls the door open widely. A Community Service Officer attempts to block the entrance by spreading his arms across the doorway. Students push against the officer to enter the building. The CSO wraps his arms around multiple students’ chests and shoulders to attempt to prevent them from entering. A few students push the officer into the building, permitting other students to enter. The officer continues to grab onto students even after they enter the building. 

A group-written statement to The Hustler from the protestors inside Kirkland Hall previously asserted that Vanderbilt’s claim of students using physical force to enter the building was not telling the full story.

“Students were grabbed and assaulted, and defended themselves from CSOs on their way to protest at the Chancellor’s office in an attempt to exercise their fundamental rights to free speech and free expression,” the protestors’ statement reads.

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About the Contributors
Rachael Perrotta
Rachael Perrotta, Former Editor-in-Chief
Rachael Perrotta ('24) is from Cranston, R.I., and majored in cognitive studies, communication of science and technology and political science and minored in gender and sexuality studies in Peabody College. She was also previously Senior Advisor and News Editor. If she's not pressing you for a comment, she's probably trying to convince you that she's over 5 feet tall, cheering on the Red Sox or wishing Nashville had a beach. She can be reached at [email protected].
Katherine Oung
Katherine Oung, Data Editor
Katherine Oung ('25) is majoring in political science and computer science and minoring in data science in the College of Arts and Science. They are from West Palm Beach, Fla., and were previously Deputy News Editor and Managing Editor. Katherine enjoys working on freelance journalism projects and making incredibly specific Spotify playlists. They can be reached at [email protected].
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Comments (3)

The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
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2 months ago

Is this video from the US Capitol or Kirkland Hall? Will the University form a March 26 committee?

2 months ago

Curious as to the follow-up statement from the protesters, as the video clearly shows them using physical force to illegaly enter the building. Great opportunity- from a journalistic perspective- to call out a group’s false claims and see how they spin/react to video evidence proving their claims to be false.

2 months ago
Reply to  James

I torally agree with James. The CSO was the one assaulted and had both the legal and moral right to defend himself.