About 100 Edgewood College students dressed in black in solidarity and walked out of class on Wednesday to attend a student-led listening session.

Three weeks before the walkout, the school was celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during what they call Dream Week. Someone vandalized a poster of Martin Luther King Jr. and president Scott Flanagan sent out an email to alert students.

It happened again a week later, but student said the administration didn’t do enough to condemn the act.

During the walkout, at least 20 students expressed their frustration by speaking directly to the 17 members of the president’s cabinet who were in attendance.

“We’ll get on board when our staff can say that’s not right. We need to make it better,” said one student.

Ana Jimenez-Diaz, Student Senate president, said the event was organized to allow students to come speak their truth and be validated.

“It’s about time that we begin to rebuild the sense of our diverse and inclusive community here at Edgewood that I thought we had,” said Sydney Wilcox, Student Senate vice president.

One student asked the crowd how many of their professors talked about the vandalism in class but only a couple people raised their hands.

“Emails aren’t enough and today we’re standing here to try to talk about it and I think the main thing we need to work on is our staff,” she said.

Students spoke about the school justice system, saying students are getting away with getting in trouble on campus and allegations of sexual assault aren’t dealt with.

“Some of us are so tired of repeating what we experience on this racially divided, male-dominant, sexist and let’s not forget homophobic, predominantly white campus,” said student Demond Hill. “When someone asks me if Edgewood College cares about diversity and inclusion, I’m just going to have to tell them the truth. We don’t.”

Staff said an open forum like this hasn’t happened in at least eight years, but this event could energize staff and students to create a transparent relationship.

“To really improve the student experience we need to hear from our students in forums like this,” said Tony Garcia, executive director of diversity. “I’m proud of our students who were up there, but their experiences just tear me apart.”