Show of 'Z'olidarity

Yesterday, members of the secret Z society painted two of their Zs black, leaving a statement explaining their actions and a famous quote about persecution nearby. The symbols, which can be found on the steps leading into Old Cabell Hall and Madison Hall, drew attention from passers-by throughout the day.

"I think it's definitely a strong statement," second-year College student Townsend Jordan said.

Some students said they approved of the society's statement and felt it was timely in light of the recent assault of Student Council President-elect Daisy Lundy.

"I think it's an appropriate time for societies such as the Z society to be doing this, with all the recent events," said third-year Architecture student Kate Thatcher. "I think that through their symbols they are a public figure on campus and they have the responsibility to take action."

According to the public statement left beside the freshly painted Z, the group feels that the responsibility for action lies in the hands of individual members of the community.

The statement claims, "We have painted our two most visible symbols black to signify the belief that progress will only be achieved through recognition and celebration of our shared past. Just as the Z is a symbol of the University as a whole, this gesture embodies the unanimous, renewed and permanent commitment to positive change. The dialogue between students, faculty, administration, and the broader community must create a unified movement towards fulfilling those truths that we supposedly hold to be self-evident. The time for action is now."

In spite of this explanation, some students said they were concerned about what the painted Z really meant.

"I recognize the symbolic value of painting the Z black, but there's a statement about the truths that are held self-evident and it really kind of references what I consider to be a racist document," said fourth-year College student Michael Bishop. "Their referencing it, to me, shows that maybe they haven't put the level of thought into their response that they could have."

Jordan, however, said he felt any action at all was a positive step.

"The solution to this would be world peace, but has that happened? No," he said. "Can we make it better? Yes. How? I don't know. But at least they tried."

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