During my first month back on campus, I have been very torn on my feelings as to how the SVSU community has responded to recent social justice issues.
After spending a lot of time thinking about it, I have come to two conclusions.
First, we need to hold our administration accountable and to a higher standard for reform. We need to be able to look up to those who are in charge and know where they stand when it comes to different issues that we as a campus community face.
I thought I attended a college that would take a stand and work with its students to provide a better place for us to learn, live and grow. Unfortunately, that is not what I have witnessed over the past month.
Our administrators have not been proactive on any issues and have frankly seemed confused when any issues have arisen on campus.
Yes, I know that in an email President Bachand did say that we stand with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Too bad that had to come after a man came to campus spewing hate for many different minority groups, telling students that they would be going to hell.
Too bad that saying Black Lives Matter and physically going out and doing something to prove it and attempt to make change are two very different things.
I can sit here all day and tell you that I believe in social justice and equality for all, but if I am not going out and doing anything to prove that that’s how I feel, and show that I stand with others in a time where they are hurting and need to be heard, then I am not backing up what I say I am fighting for.
This does not stop at just the administration either. For example, our athletic department can take strides as well to help promote reform. If more people speak up, there is greater chance that we will be heard.
This should be easy to implement, as we have seen it done in the NBA, NFL, MLB and other televised events. We need a unification of all levels of the university.
There are so many options for different groups on campus to work to promote change and advocate for social justice. It just seems unfortunate that it is a select group that will stand up while others remain silent.
My second conclusion is that our administration can learn from the student population how to show up in a time of need.
It was a great day to be a Cardinal when the campus community could come together peacefully in order to get the man spewing hatred removed from our campus.
It was not something we planned to do, but it was something that we saw and knew in the moment that we had to do.
So we came together and held the accountability march on campus. Students from many different walks of life showed up to peacefully voice their support for the movement at hand.
This should not be looked at as a black or white issue. It will take all of us, no matter our race, gender or orientation.
We as a community are speaking up for what we believe in and attempting for the university to hear us. It is not our fault that they are refusing to listen.
If we come together, loud and peaceful, things will begin to change. If we put the ball into the court of the administration, they will have to take a stand one way or the other.
Keep fighting the status quo and building relationships with each other instead of tearing each other down. If we yell loud enough, someone will eventually hear us.
SVSU is known for its branding of #WE(Insert verb here). Now we are at a point where we need to move from #WETalk to #WEAct.
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