By DaQuan Martin; The Whetstone

Senior Brielle Braxton-Young said she couldn’t understand why Wesley College had taken down a makeshift memorial wall that paid tribute to students who died while attending Wesley.

She and other students created the wall last spring, at first to honor Erick Acevedo-Palencia, who died during the semester. It soon included several other students, as well as football coach Mike Drass, who had died the year before.

“I’m upset about it because they didn’t say anything,” she said. “They just did it. They should had spoken up about taking it down, but the school always brushes everything off.”

Black Student Union president Rex Chege didn’t like that the tributes were removed.

“I don’t agree with the memorial being taken down in the CC lobby,” he said. “They should have had notified us if they were going to take it down. With the loss of Ahyanna (Baker-Griffin, who died the semester before Erick) and Erick, it was still fresh and that was our way of remembering them and their legacies. It’s not sitting well with us.”

Some Wesley staff said they were ambivalent about the issue.

“I agree and disagree with the action,” said Latoya Anderson, the alcohol and other drugs education coordinator. “I think we should still have some type of memorial, but maybe not in the area it was located. It could have been a better quality, more aesthetically pleasing. Maybe somewhere else around campus, even if we had a tree outside, a memorial type tree.”

The memorial was made of construction paper and pictures of the students, and people were encouraged to write personal remarks. Part of the memorial fell at least two times.

The memorial was made of construction paper and pictures of the students, and people were encouraged to write personal remarks. Part of the memorial fell at least two times.

Anderson said Wesley should construct a more “professional” memorial.

“We have folks visiting the campus all the time, and it should be done in a place where it is visible so students, faculty and staff just from looking at that it’s our memorial tree or stone,” she said.

Seniors Kabrea Tyler and Jeanerre Smith said they didn’t like that the school took down the memorial.

“I don’t think they should have taken down the memorial because it’s supposed to be a memory of those whom we lost,” Smith said. “We’re supposed to share our respect for them and taking it down is disrespectful.”

Mark Berry, director of campus life, said he thinks leaving it up would help students.

“I see it from the student prospective as this is was their memorial, their grieving process,” he said. “Leaving it up could potentially help them.”

Christopher Willis, the director of residence life, said he thinks a memorial is needed, but the one that was up could have been done better.

“I think it was appropriate when they took it down when they did, because it was created by the most recent tragedy on campus,” he said. “Now, if they wanted to come up with a long-term solution, I full-heartedly support that, but I still think it need to be done differently.”

Willis said creating a permanent memorial is best.

 “I think investing a little bit of money to make it nice is good,” he said. “If it’s going to be a permanent structure, it has to be different from what we had.”

Braxton-Young said the creators chose that spot specifically so everyone could see the memorial.

“There were no other places when we looked to display everyone,” she said. “It was the best place we choose to put it and the Dean of Students agreed to us placing it there. As far as quality of supplies the posters, markers, that’s what they gave us, and we had to make do what with we had.”

She said she has things in the works for a future representation.

“Since the death of Amber Sells (a freshman who died this semester), I am just waiting it out to talk to Dean Anderson about my new proposal,” she said. “But pretty soon I will be contacting her about it.”