Student Activism

Washington & Jefferson College students have been the guiding force in social advocacy against racism with the support of faculty, many of whom were and are allies. Members of Washington & Jefferson College have been the cause of social change  both nationally and locally. Their activism took forms of articles in the school newspaper and elsewhere, protests, and vigils.

Maia Ervin’s “I am black, I am a student, and I am tired of racism on my campus” from Public Source

“I wanted to bring attention to was the fact that we are living in a culture where people think that that’s okay. And people think that it’s funny. That’s really what I was trying to bring attention to.”​

-Maia Ervin ‘18​

During her junior year in 2017, Maia Ervin ‘18 was appalled by the inappropriate actions of the Student Government President in 2017, who posted an image of a black light mini golf ad edited to include Tiger Woods with the comment that he was “welcoming his people.” Ervin was inspired by the program advisor at her internship at the time to speak out about her all-too-common experiences with racism and cultural insensitivity on campus. Ervin’s article in Public Source, “I am black, I am a student, and I’m tired of racism on my campus”, uncovers her experience as a black woman on Washington and Jefferson’s campus in both social and academic settings.​

Red and Black Editorials

The Red & Black is the student-run newspaper for the Washington & Jefferson College Campus. In 1949, a series of editorials accused the Interfraternity Council of unfair exclusion for not including Pi Lambda Phi – a predominantly Jewish fraternity – at the annual Pan-Hell dance. The author of the initial article accuses Don Allen, the president of the Interfraternity Council, of intentionally excluding Pi Lam due to prejudice. Allen furiously asserts that he is not antisemitic in an article published in response.​