Ball State students walk out over mistreatment of student

Ball State University students lead peaceful protest

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — Ball State University students demanded change during a peaceful protest on campus Tuesday.

They’re upset after a professor called campus police on a student who refused to change seats during class.

A cellphone video went viral Jan. 21 of two campus police officers questioning senior student Sultan Benson.

Marketing professor Shaheen Borna called police after Benson refused to switch seats during class. The university and the professor have declined to talk about the incident.

Benson has accused Borna of singling him out for “unfair treatment” because he’s black. The student body wants school leaders to punish Borna for violating code of conduct, specifically falsely reporting an emergency.

Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns last week issued a statement that called Borna’s actions an unwarranted overreaction. Mearns laid out a plan of action that includes new faculty training. The president also vowed to meet with black faculty and alumni groups for guidance in creating a more inclusive campus community.

However, the hundreds of students who attended the protest want the professor to resign.

“I do feel like there was little to no consequences,” said freshman student Kameron Green. “There was no … he didn’t get reprimanded for what happened and there really needs to be some type of change.”

The protest also addressed campus policy changes to protect all students from discrimination.

“It makes me feel like the bigger picture is being seen now,” Benson said. “It seems like more students are on board and not scared to share their stories, which is the end goal for this is to make the change for the entire student campus body.”

Ball State University’s Student Government Association and the Black Student Association on Wednesday night will host a student forum to the conversation of student inclusion and solutions of policy change.

Benson told News 8 he is meeting with Mearns on Saturday to further discuss the incident.