Students gathered at the Mountainlair on Friday to gain support for their "Save WVU March" to protest against the University’s restrictions, but few participants arrived.
“We’ve gotten a lot of support from local businesses, and we got about 25 signatures from those businesses supporting the protest,” said Connor Kraus, a junior business major and lead organizer of the protest. “We’ve been gaining a lot of support from students who want things to reopen.”
Despite this, there was no significant turnout, with about four students in total including the organizers, who planned to march from the Mountainlair up to President E. Gordon Gee’s home on the Evansdale campus.
The protest was run by Kraus’ Startup for Success, a student led public relations and marketing organization aimed to help students find career opportunities and start up entrepreneurial businesses.
Benjamin Luikart, a sophomore public relations major, helped organize the event.
“I understand that the University is trying to keep 20,000 students healthy and maintain a positive image, but they are limiting key resources that the students need,” Luikart said. “As a WVU student without a car, I can’t workout.”
Luikart said that the group has arranged a meeting with President Gee next week and they are willing to sit down and work with the administration.
“We want people to understand that we’re not a ‘let us party’ protest, but we’re an actual organization that’s well run, and we hope to gain awareness and support,” Luikart said.
The group had signs made with different slogans and demands, some accusing President Gee of being a hypocrite after he was caught shopping in CVS without a mask on.
Kraus said that they wanted to promote a student-first agenda.
“We hope that WVU lets students into the Baylor game on October 3rd,” Kraus said. “We want our free breakfast back on the weekends, as well as 24-hour library access, and the PRT reopening with distancing guidelines.”
Kraus brought a set of PPE disposable masks to ensure all protesters could participate safely. The event did not attract much support from students passing by.