Student protesters block Homeland Security table at Spring Internship, Co-op and Career Fair


Two student protesters in front of the table of Homeland Security at Kent State’s 2020 Career Fair on Feb. 20, 2020. The students held fliers and stood peacefully in front of an abandoned table. 

Maddy Haberberger, TV2 Reporter

Sara Crawford and Gershon Harrell

With arms linked, backs to the Department of Homeland Security’s table, student protesters held up signs saying “no human is illegal” and “abolish ICE.”

In the Beverly J. Warren Student Recreation and Wellness Center’s basketball courts, tables were set up for the Spring Internship, Co-op and Career Fair. One of those tables was for the Department of Homeland Security.

“The fact the university let this happen, I don’t care who they are. I don’t care if they’re not ICE,”  said Nico Rushh, president of Threads.

ICE is a federal law enforcement agency funded by the Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for immigration and customs.

Activist groups like Threads, Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for a Democratic Society gathered to peacefully protest the Department of Homeland Security’s presence on campus.

“We want to get rid of any type of state law enforcement entity off of this campus that directly ties to our history, we have seen what happens when the university allows, for example, the National Guard to come on campus,” said Sophia Gabbay, President of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Seconds after the group took stand in front of the table, career fair workers immediately started talking over their walkie talkies and phones.

After getting word of the protestors, the recruiters for the Department of Homeland Security cleared the table and left the area.

The protesters then covered the table with their posters, making it clear where they stood.

“Protecting people is important but it’s also important to go about it in the right way to make the message you’re using are actually resulting in improving the safety of everyone,” said Matt Slensack, Integrated Social Studies major.

From the second floor, one of the protesters watching out called down to say the police were called.

One Kent State police officer approached the group, and they quietly dispersed from the career fair.

“This was a small victory,” said Nemet Alrawajfeh, a sophomore political science major.

Sara Crawford is an assigning editor. Contact her at [email protected]

Gershon Harrell is a general assignment editor. Contact him at [email protected]

Maddy Haberberger is a TV2 Reporter. Contact her at [email protected]