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Oregon State students re-enact 1969 march across campus

In 1969, black students organized sit-ins and protests against actions and rules they felt were oppressing students of color at OSU.

Posted: May 21, 2019 7:41 PM
Updated: May 21, 2019 7:45 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Dozens of people of all races and backgrounds participated in a march at Oregon State University on Tuesday, re-enacting the action students took decades earlier that created the opportunities they now have.

In 1969, black students organized sit-ins and protests against actions and rules they felt were oppressing students of color at OSU. Students walked out across campus for a march after a black football player was told to shave his facial hair, which was a team rule at the time.

Volleyball players Serena Bruin and Nya Buckner told KEZI 9 News they're happy to see the support they and others have on campus now.

"To me it just shows that our community around us supports other black students around them and that they care what's going on and what's happening in the world," Bruin said.

"I think it's really powerful to see the solidarity that we have here on this campus," Buckner said. "It hasn't always been like this, but it's like this today. It's really awesome."

That 1969 march changed the culture at OSU, creating programs and university offices dedicated to supporting students of color.

Bruin, Buckner and other students said the progress is great, but there's still a long way to go. They said people can get involved with Black Cultural Center events, help them continue this conversation and grow the solidarity that's been created on campus.

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