Letter to the Editor: USG responds to nationwide racial violence

reopening

Adolfo García, Reagan McKinney, and Deja Wells

Tulanians,

We hope this finds you safe and well. Undergraduate Student Government is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of each and every one of our students during this precarious time. We’d like to address the string of current events that have impacted our community these last few weeks.

There has been a rise in the national coverage of police brutality and violence against Black people. We recognize that this could be stressful and anxiety-inducing for various members of our community. We as a student government would like to highlight that cases like these, particularly against the Black community, are ever-present and a constant struggle, yet we as a campus must be adamant and unwavering in our approach to denounce these acts of violence. Using this platform, we’d like to take time to acknowledge the lives lost to racial violence, including but unfortunately never limited to Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. Our thoughts are with their families and hope that they find peace and justice during these tragic times.

It is crucial that we as a student body are strong and share a similar mission to uphold the academic, social and personal experiences of all of our community members. We should especially do our part to uplift and support the experiences and safety of Black people on and off our campus because truthfully, we’ve failed to do so in the past. We cannot stand by and watch while unarmed Black people are murdered across the country – and we won’t.

We want to enable all of our students to be better bystanders, better allies and better friends. Our country faces unprecedented challenges at this point in time, but as highlighted by former President Barack Obama, the deaths of Black people shouldn’t be “normal.”

In the face of racial violence, there is no neutral ground. We’d like to commend the various organizations that are working to end racial violence in America and uphold our collective safety in the face of harm. Tulanians have always worked to support and uplift each other. We should strive to understand the grief and anger many of us feel during these times, and work to alleviate that pain as a community, so that we may all stand together.

These are trying times for all of us, yet it’s imperative that we remind ourselves that we are not the first generation to experience or witness such violence. Together, led by those who have long been oppressed we can craft a future that erodes the generational trauma many of us carry, and make way for institutional change, impactful growth and above all else, love.

Adolfo García, USG President

Reagan McKinney, USG Executive Vice President

Deja Wells, USG Director of Diversity, Inclusion, & Equity Council

*This statement is sponsored by Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs Sienna Abdulahad