On Tuesday, one disillusioned member of Tulane’s Robert E. Lee fan club emerged into a Phelps balcony with a conspicuous absence of fabric on his torso and broadcast a series of non-sequiturs to a crowd that had assembled to protest discrimination against minorities on campus. According to reports, he was loudly encouraging class attendance.
Sophomore and protest participant Bailey Slatter was unsure of the relevance of the unnamed man’s grievances. “I think he’s right- students at Tulane really do need to work on getting to class more often, but I don’t really get what that has to do with basic human rights,” she said.
Margie Altman, an assistant professor with the Africana Studies department, who was holding a large sign that read “Stop Killing Us”, doubted the need to prioritize class attendance over racial justice, noting that the few students able to access her small and underfunded department’s classes were pretty good about showing up.
The incident led to more questions than answers.
“If he’s so concerned about class attendance, why isn’t he in class?” wondered Lisa Lisanelli, a sophomore philosophy major.
“Is he related to the old man yelling at a cloud? Is time travel real? There’s something they’re not telling us!” posited Joe Stein, who preferred to remain anonymous.
“Where did I put my chapstick? Do you have any?” asked Kayla Samuels, a freshman with visibly chapped lips.
When asked to comment on the commotion, sophomore Brad Tellement described his Tuesday experience. “This waffle truck line was way too long and more of a throng than a line,” he asserted. “And everyone was yelling. Probably because they were hungry and I guess this political environment really has people craving comfort food.”
Following the large protest advocating for basic benefits to contracted employees of Tulane, the administration responded by ignoring the demands and instead giving out megaphones to all white men on Phelps 3. “We want to show that everyone’s input is valued here at Tulane,” said a housing spokesman. “Freedom of speech is a core principle of our great nation, and I hope in the future this measure will let us respond with confidence to the concerns of all white men on campus.”