October 14, 2022 | NEWS | By Michael Braithwaite | Illustration by Sydney Morris
On the evening of Friday, Oct. 7, a protester climbed their way onto the ice at Ed Robson Arena late in the first period of Colorado College’s Homecoming hockey game versus University of Alaska Anchorage. As arena security tried to escort them off the ice, the protester appeared to jab an object into their neck and had to be forcibly subdued and removed from the building.
Multiple observers who witnessed the incident up close reported that the protester had a small pair of scissors in their hand that they were using to try and pierce their neck. Statements from CC Campus Safety Director Cathy Buckley and Athletic Director Lesley Irvine after the game confirmed that no one was harmed during the ordeal.
An email sent by President L. Song Richardson on Saturday morning confirmed that the protester was not a CC student and was taken to Memorial Hospital after the incident in order to receive professional care.
This protest came amongst a series of Homecoming Weekend demonstrations around the Colorado College campus, including eye-catching messages left around campus in sidewalk chalk and a collective movement by students to illustrate the shortcomings in the college’s response to mental health crises on the Block Plan.
While some students and families in Ed Robson Arena on Friday night assumed that the protester’s message was related to CC’s lack of response to recent student deaths, those who were close enough to the ice to hear the protester determined that their message was something else entirely.
Some observers noted that the protester was yelling in a language that was not English, making it hard for many in attendance to understand what message they were trying to convey. Zoraiz Zafar ’25, who was sitting in the Mike Slade Student Section at the time of the protest, was able to pick up a few of the words that were shouted.
“We heard the phrase ‘azadi’, which means ‘freedom’ in a lot of South Asian and subcontinental languages,” said Zafar. “As EMS was taking them out, we did hear them chant something about freedom and Iran.”
Zafar noted that the message likely had something to do with the ongoing women’s rights protests in Iran. These protests began when 22-year-old Mahsa Ahmini was killed by Iranian police on Sept. 16 for not wearing the traditional Islamic headscarf in public, and have resulted in an estimated 185 deaths at the hands of Iranian law enforcement thus far.
Family members and alumni who were at CC for Homecoming Weekend were shocked to see such an incident occur. Hayden Cogswell ’20 was sitting behind the protester in Section 105 when he saw the protestor climb over the glass and onto the ice.
“They were sitting in front of us and got up right at an intermission or some pause, jumped over the glass, [and] landed on the opposition’s bench,” Cogswell said. “It looked like they were pointing toward the student section with their fist raised and were shouting something even after they got restrained.”
“It was disturbing to watch,” said a parent who was sitting close to where the incident occurred.
Numerous students left the arena upon witnessing the incident. The game then resumed after a 15-minute intermission.
No personal information about the protester has been released at this time.