Letter to students

The University of Missouri has been making headlines this week, raising important questions and concerns about racial tension on college campuses. Over the last 48 hours, in the wake of the resignation of University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe, multiple occurrences of racially-charged hatred — including significant and serious threats against black students — have erupted on the University of Missouri campus. As students, as citizens, and as human beings, we cannot sit back and be quiet about these terrifying events. It is devastating to see students stand up against systematic racial hatred and face risks and threats to their safety as a result. Creating safe spaces for conversations about the mistreatment of minorities on college campuses across the country is crucial. We aim to promote and create those spaces on campuses across the country; but institutions of higher education and the education system as a whole often fail students, faculty and staff of color.

The students of the University of Denver stand in solidarity with our peers at the University of Missouri. We commend them for using their voices and standing up against acts of racial injustice. They have demonstrated incredible activism, courage and leadership in their efforts and we have been inspired by their actions. As events have unfolded, we’ve asked ourselves and one another, “When is this going to stop? When will eruptions of protest and racial violence end? Why do racial injustices continue? What measures can be taken in order to improve the current conditions at universities?” There is no easy or immediate answer. However, we believe the only way our community can begin to shift away from this hatred is when we begin to listen to one another and recognize the experiences of marginalized communities as legitimate.

We are committed to creating a university environment where students feel safe and valued. Listening to each other starts today, here, at 4 p.m. on Driscoll Green. Students of all identities are invited to join USG and the Black Student Alliance in painting the wall with a message of solidarity. Afterwards, the entire DU community is invited to join a community listening session with Vice Chancellor for Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence Lili Rodriguez. We hope that this can be a start to safe spaces for all students to have conversations about the way that issues of race impact DU students, and how each of us can play our part in making DU an even better place to live and learn. We hope that you’ll join us for this important conversation, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.

In solidarity,

Cameron Hickert and Jess Davidson, Undergraduate Student Government

Albert McClure, President, Graduate Student Government

Rory Moore, President, DU Black Student Alliance

Jillian Martinez, President, DU Latino Student Alliance

Sabrina Jain, President, DU South Asian Student Alliance

Irvin Chau, President, DU Asian Student Alliance

Erik Schutzler, President, DU Interfraternity Council

Marissa Hammers, President, DU Panhellenic Association

Arimus Wells, External President, DU Programming Board

Tania Molinar, President, DU Multicultural Greek Council

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