The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
Five Things We Learned Delivering Over Half a Million Orders for NoCo Restaurants
Five Things We Learned Delivering Over Half a Million Orders for NoCo Restaurants
November 8, 2023

  In May 2019, Nosh began as a humble restaurant co-op with just three people. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, while many businesses...

Students stand quietly in memory of Michael Brown

[new_royalslider id=”238″]

(Photos by Abbie Parr)


For 4.5 minutes, the Colorado State University Plaza fell silent Monday at noon in memory of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri by police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.

“That silence was pure silence and that was so powerful, having a group of people willing to stand together in solidarity,” said Sami Slenker, international studies senior and an organizer for the event.

On Nov. 24, a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson for the shooting and killing of Brown. Immediately following the decision, Ferguson and other cities across the U.S., including Denver, took to the streets in protest — some causing violence and others rooted in peace.

Due to fall break at CSU, students waited until classes commenced to demonstrate their solidarity with the rest of the nation.

Race stats from the 2013-2014 CSU academic year.

On the night of the decision, Slenker knew this was something students needed to discuss.

“I wanted to do something to unite students to start speaking about it and something to show that we’re in solidarity and we’re paying respect with the 4.5 minutes that Michael’s parents requested,” Slenker said.

After a week of preparation, her friend and health and exercise junior, Yohana Tuquabo, helped by getting the Black Student Alliance and United Men of Color to co-host the event. Together, they managed to get 350 people to RSVP on Facebook. By noon on Monday, when the 4.5 minutes of silence began, roughly a 100 students showed up with signs saying, “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice for the Oppressed,” on the Plaza.

Once the silence was over, African American undeclared junior Kwon Yearby spoke a few words to the crowd.

“Racism matters,” Yearby said. “And if black lives matter, we need to do something about it. I think the biggest thing we can do right now is show our black men and black women that we love them, and for everyone else, we need to fight this hate with love.”


Yearby said before Ferguson, he didn’t think racism was prevalent.

“For a while, I thought race didn’t matter, race wasn’t real,” Yearby said. “But, it’s very real and the implications are huge.”

According to Yearby, he’s never seen such “outright racism (and) outright prejudice.”

Yearby and others who spoke to the crowd encouraged everyone to hug each other in solidarity.

Cash Thomas, an attendee in elementary school and the son of Bonnie Thomas, a social work senior, hugged Yearby along with his brother and sister. Thomas almost left her three children at home due to concerns about the protest escalating, but wanted to show them the meaning of equality.

“I felt like this was important enough for me to bring them,” Bonnie Thomas said. “I’ve seen the affects that this incident has had on my friends and people I care about, and so it’s just important. I think every life matters, there’s no better way to learn that then something like this.”

Alongside Bonnie Thomas stood members from various CSU communities including the African American community, LGBT community, Ethnic Studies Department and Student Leadership.

“I think it’s really powerful to see people from all different walks of life who are all going to CSU, and some who aren’t going to CSU, here and wanting to keep fighting,” Slenker said.

(Video by Karsen Buschjost)

Collegian Reporter Lawrence Lam can be reached at or on Twitter @LawrenceKLam.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Hey, thanks for visiting!
We’d like to ask you to please disable your ad blocker when looking at our site — advertising revenue directly supports our student journalists and allows us to bring you more content like this.

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *