A Concerned Student’s Letter to the Protestors


Dear Kirkland Protesters,

My name is Carol Pinkett, and I am concerned about the recent “sit-ins” on Kirkland Lawn. Firstly, let me make clear, I am a liberal. My parents voted for Obama,  twice. I cheated on my conservative boyfriend, Dylan, as an act of accountability. I am super down for the Palestine cause and think it majorly sucks that Vandy won’t give us the referee? Reference? Referral? I can’t remember what it’s called, but regardless, I’m not feeling the sit-ins. First, you all were standing outside with signs. I said nothing. I enjoyed the improvisational skills you all showed through your chants. Then, you put up flyers around campus. I don’t support the waste of paper, but I understood your message. But sleeping outside? We have gone way too far! 

Homeless people, sorry, unhoused people, give me anxiety and you all sleeping on Kirkland is triggering for me. When I was just a young girl, only two years ago, I was walking in Centennial Park. I had on my Milkshake Pink Lululemon set and my Airpod Max-es blasting Natasha Bedingfield in my ears. I was having an amazing day! Sadly, that amazement didn’t last. I felt a sudden tap on my shoulder. I fell to the ground in fear. I was being attacked! I scrambled for the pepper on my keychain but it wasn’t there. It was in the hands of my attacker, the homeless man. 

He stood over me with my keys dangling in his hands. He mentioned something about “dropping this,” but I was in too much shock to hear anything. I was shaking as he bent down and placed the keys next to me. He walked off so casually, as if he hadn’t just attacked a young woman. Luckily, nothing was stolen, and the only injuries I had were a nick in my leggings. 

I’ve had to go to the UCC three times this week because every time I see you all I get flashbacks to that day. I literally had to get an emotional support dog and cat because of this experience. Follow them on Instagram @PoochAndCooch if you want to see cute photos of them. 

When I see you guys, I feel really bad. I get that you’re trying to make a stand, but could you make it at Loews across the street? Wouldn’t you want to protest from the comfort of a luxury five-star hotel? I heard they have complimentary breakfast. It’s just a bit of an eyesore seeing you all sitting on the grass with sleeping bags. Leave the camping to Wilskills. They do it off campus. Homelessness — I mean, unhousedness — is such a problem in America, and Tennessee has made great strides to resolve this issue by making sleeping outside illegal. By sitting outside, you’re normalizing homelessness and gaslighting the entire community to believe that it’s okay to choose tents over your dorm room twin XL bed.

Finally, I feel like you all are judging me for not sitting in. You haven’t said anything to me nor even looked at me, but it’s just the major hater aura I’m getting from the area. I’m an activist just like you all. Whenever you all make posts on Instagram, I look at them, nod and agree. I even turned my profile picture to that little black square for like a week, for you know, solidarity. I internally like so many of my friends’ stories when they repost your content. I laughed at the Slant’s posts about the situation. I’m doing the work! As an ally to your cause, I’m begging you to think about the people that matter during this situation: people like me. People who want to see a clean and pretty campus. Don’t you want your suspended friends to come back to something beautiful?


Carol Pinkett

(P.S. If you all don’t leave by next week, I will call MNPD on you.)

  • April 25, 2024