I am all for lower student fees and tuition. I could even get on board with higher salaries for high-quality professors and instructors. So naturally, I was very interested when I first heard about the Our UNM coalition and their efforts to try and raise awareness about these issues. But after witnessing the hateful messaging and conduct at the Our UNM demonstration on Wednesday, I cannot support the Our UNM movement. At the time of the march, I was helping at a table with a conservative organization in Smith Plaza. The marchers were chanting, among other things, “Education is a right, not just for the rich and white!” One of the girls in the march saw me watching the protest from the table, and angrily and obviously held up her middle finger at me while others cheered her on. Was this because I am white? Was it because she assumed I would disagree with the purpose of the demonstration? No matter the reasoning, this conduct was completely uncivil and uncalled for. Furthermore, the hate and resentment expressed towards the “rich and white” is not only counterproductive to solving the fiscal issues students face, but is counterproductive to building a community of acceptance. We will never have a peaceful society while race is still used as a substitute for income or culture.

Emily Larsen
UNM student