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PHOTOS: Faculty gather to show support for students following Justin Woodard incident

Belmont faculty gather to support students

Everyone huddled near the fountain with their heads bowed down. Students walked by looking puzzled and confused. The crowd was starting to receive attention and a few more participants from left and right.

Faculty senate leaders at Belmont University sent out an email inviting staff to gather and pray for students Friday morning.

The group gathered in support of the Black Student Association after a racist Snapchat posted by freshman Justin Woodard went viral Tuesday. Woodard was dismissed later that day.

Marnie Vanden Noven, a faculty staff leader, spoke most of the 10 minutes the group was gathered. Her remarks included encouraging words for professors about how they can get involved and create a safe space for every student.

“Together we can make a huge change,” said Noven.

Professors can show support by talking to students about the issues in today’s society. Being aware is a great first place to start said Noven.

“It’s multi-faceted. Students need to know that we understand,” said Noven.

Dr. Marcia McDonald from the English department also attended the gathering to show her support.

“I do think it is important to show our students that we are a community,” said McDonald.

Article by Celida Salcedo. Photos by Hunter Morgan.

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