University of Wisconsin students and Madison community members braved the bitter wind Thursday night for a Black Out March in support of University of Missouri’s movement to end systematic racism at the university and throughout the country.

The peaceful march began on top of UW’s Bascom Hill and traveled down State Street to the Capitol in roughly an hour.

A group of at least 400 made several stops along the way in the middle of intersections in attempt to garner attention, leaders from Black Student Union at UW said.

At the beginning of the march, student leaders emphasized the event would be peaceful. UW Police Department directed traffic and walked with activists to support the movement.

Throughout the march, activists participated in chants including “Black Lives Matter,” “Racism is at Mizzou; it’s on our campus too” and “No justice, no peace.”

At each stop, student leaders, who were mostly from the Black Student Union, addressed issues they observe with racism throughout the country and at UW.

The students cited several examples where the only punishment for actions in Madison, such as the hanging of a black doll on someone’s porch, resulted in merely an apology from the university. They also brought up previous race-related admissions policies and incidents in Greek life from years past.

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The students said reaction to the events at Mizzou is good, but reaction alone is not enough. Students need to initiate action to create change. Student activism cannot end after graduation, they said, but must continue on beyond their time on campus.

Lori Berquam, UW Dean of Students, marched the whole way and said she liked seeing support and effort from multiple student organizations to try to improve issues on campus.

In response to students’ comments criticizing UW’s actions in the past, Berquam said it was difficult to hear a lot of what they were saying, and she was disappointed that some students perceived UW in such a way.

“I don’t want any of our students to experience … bias or any form of hate response,” Berquam said. “None of that contributes to the campus we want.”

She said her office and staff have worked to create policies and procedures to make students feel comfortable, including a website with resources to report instances of hate and bias.

UWPD Lt. Aaron Chapin said he thought the march went smoothly.

Chapin said students were properly operating under their First Amendment rights.

“Your First Amendment right is like a muscle. If you don’t use it, it withers and dies,” Chapin said. “I think people were successfully able to express their First Amendment rights in a very safe environment.”

The event was well-organized, and those in charge were able to get their message across, Chapin said.

He said he even saw people joining in as the march moved all the way up State Street.

“It’s a great thing for our student body to be able to engage in this type of opportunity,” Chapin said.