Students, faculty rally for Nichol in Sunken Garden
February 12, 2008
p. More than 200 students, faculty and staff gathered in the Sunken Garden today to speak out against the Board of Visitors’ decision to not renew College President Gene Nichol’s contract when it expires in June.
p. Students called for a boycott of the Senior Class Gift, and several professors called for a faculty strike tomorrow and Thursday to protest a decision that many in the crowd viewed as a unilateral action by the BOV to end a presidency that has been surrounded in controversy since 2006.
p. “This is a good time for students to stand up and say how we feel because the BOV doesn’t care what the students think,” said Lamar Shambley ’10, who told the crowd that he is a Gateway student who likely wouldn’t have been able to attend the College if it weren’t for Nichol’s student aid initiative.
p. The protest started around 2 p.m., and hundreds of students were still gathered two hours later. Some students shouted phrases like “fuck the BOV,” while others spoke to the crowd about personal experiences they had with Nichol.
p. Dean of Admissions Henry Broaddus and Provost Geoff Feiss were in attendance, and they both said that they were disappointed with the BOV’s decision.
p. “I feel deeply the pain, and it’s terribly important that people have the opportunity to express that — their anger, their frustration,” Feiss said. “What we need to do is honor the things that Gene Nichol stood for.”