By Ashley Childs, Asha Glover and Shawn Massie
Three Morgan State University football players were stabbed outside of Rawlings Dining Hall on Tuesday around 2 p.m. This is the third violent incident that has happened on Morgan’s campus in 5 days.
Two of the victims were taken to a local hospital— one was treated for a stab wound to the chest, according to campus officials. Another sustained non-life threatening injuries and the last was treated on campus by emergency medical technicians.
A meeting was previously scheduled between student leaders from the Student Government Association, the National Pan Hellenic Council and President David Wilson. Surprised and unprepared for Tuesday’s stabbing, the 6 p.m. meeting became a open forum for over 150 members of the Morgan community to voice their opinions and concerns.
“I’m outraged by what I have seen here on this campus,” said Wilson, voicing disappointment.
Over 20 students stood in line to address their concerns to the president.
“I think that these cameras shouldn’t be here,” said Kyree West, a student, in a move that frustrated reporters from news organizations around the city. “This is supposed to be a community. I don’t think that we need any more news coverage.”
His request was met by a round of applause from students as reporters left the theater.
To combat the negative media coverage the university has been receiving as of late, Wilson suggested that students use the hashtags #bearpride and #morganforever.
There were dozens of complaints by students that the MSU police were caught sleeping on the job, not on their job posts, and weren’t doing their job to protect students in a timely manner. Students were also disturbed because no safety alert was sent out to students immediately following Tuesday’s altercation.“I want you to tweet about the great things here at Morgan,” he said. “It’s not always about that other media out there, it’s about you.”
Jasmine Barns, a graduating senior, said the police aren’t doing their jobs.
“I don’t see them [the MSU police department] protecting us,” said Barns. “There’s no connection between the Baltimore City police and campus police. When you call them [Baltimore Police Department] they say Morgan is outside their jurisdiction.”
“We are absolutely not perfect,” said MSU Police Chief Adrian Wiggins in defense of himself and his squad. “You have got to help us.”
“Because this was an incident between students that knew each other there was no imminent danger to the general public,” said Wiggins on why safety alerts weren’t sent out. “There was no ongoing threat. We don’t want to interrupt your day.”
“We’re going to get this,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Kevin Banks. “But we’re going to take some hits for this.”
The disconnect was clear between Morgan’s students and three-person administrative panel.
“There is an automatic divide,” said West. “You said ‘we’ a lot when talking about administration and ‘you’ when talking about students.”
Not all students were critics, some applauded the police’s work as well as that of President Wilson and other administrators and questioned why students aren’t more responsible for the events that take place on campus.
“[President Wilson] talked about the Morgan man and the Morgan woman respecting each other, ” said sophomore Justin Motley. “But most of the incidents are men against men. The Morgan man needs to respect everybody.”
“When I think of campus morale, I think of student leadership,” said MSU graduate Shaquayah McKwenzi. McKwenzi was in student leadership positions while she attended Morgan and thinks that the standards she left behind weren’t being met. “You are the leaders, you set the mode. We have to hold ourselves accountable.”