The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


"Save Chatham" group organizes protest

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

An unusual sight greeted Chatham University students on Wednesday, April 23, as a group of about 15 Chatham students and alumnae protested, in continued efforts to halt Chatham’s possible coed future.

Cars honked at the group, which stood on 5th Avenue at the bottom of Woodland Road after being kicked off of campus by the administration.

Armed with signs and banners showing support for the women’s college, the participants showed clear dedication to their cause, despite the unseasonably cold weather.

The protest was organized through the “Save Chatham” Facebook page, which had over 1000 members within a day of the coed announcement being made, and currently has over 2000”, explained Kelly McKown, Class of 2002. ‘The ultimate goal of the page is to protect the [Chatham] college for women forever, but the reason we are out here today is to [convince the board members to] delay the vote for at least a year.”

She, and the rest of the protesters, want the board to work with them to look at financial options, think about the impact that going coed could have on the University, and put in the work that they “haven’t put in so far.” “The alumnae have been the backbone of this institution,” said McKown, “and to dismiss them and kick them off of campus shows a huge lack of respect.”

The administration, according to Christina Griffin, Class of 2007, told them to leave because the school was “private property” and they did not want protestors. They were told that they could protest on May 1st (the day of the vote), but Griffin did not feel that they could organize another protest in such a short time span.

Despite the setback, the protesters were still determined, and when asked why she felt so passionate about the topic, Jessica McMeyer, Class of 2000, said, “coming to Chatham gave me gifts far beyond an education. It normalized women in positions of leadership.” She then went on to explain that she drove here from Chicago with her father–who originally did not even want her to go to Chatham–in order to attend the protest.

In addition to Chicago, there were also protestors from Atlanta and Kentucky, as well as local alumnae, and current students.

The was also a wide age range among the group, which Nancy Chubb, Class of 1973, joked about. According to her, if Chatham went coed, the world would be loosing something special and unique. “I love Chatham. I love the spirit of Chatham, and I think going coed would destroy its soul,” she said. However, she seemed optimistic about their efforts, saying, “We can turn this around–I know we can–with the right passion and effort.”

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