Two groups of Texas Wesleyan faculty and students have formed in opposing sides of a protest regarding emotion. Approximately 10 individuals have joined each side of the protest, the Pro-Happiness, or Smilies, and the Anti-happiness or The Reals.
Elijah Meyer, the Smilies Leader, and his fellow protesters plan to spread happiness across the Wesleyan campus, to drive out negativity and aggression.
“No matter how we feel about this we should be happy about it. That’s the best way to go about this.” Smilies leader, Eliha Meyers said.
Shanice Evans, The leader of The Reals, hopes to silence the Smilies, claiming their movement has the goal of suppressing their true emotions.
The chant of The Reals “Express, not suppress,” summarizes their movement to keep free expression free.
Although there has been no physical altercations, both groups have exchanged verbal assaults at various locations around the campus. The protesters are primarily located in the Mall, in front of the library and near the McFadden Science center. As of now the trigger for the protests is unknown.
Texas Wesleyan University has responded to the protests in a press conference. Texas Wesleyan Spokesperson Chalon Anderson stated that the safety of Texas Wesleyan students is their top priority.
“We believe in our students’ first amendment right to protest peacefully on campus,” Anderson said.
Anderson went on to say that an investigation is being launched to gather more information about the protest.