Be the Change you Want to See in this World
Dear whomever may be reading,
I am a student attending The Ohio State University and in regards to the hate crimes perpetrated on our campus this past week, I am still speechless. However, in the face of such dire adversity I will attempt to conceptualize my thoughts and spread the word. This is 2012 on the campus of a public university that supposedly touts itself as being a diverse campus with several diversity initiatives and yet we have peaceful vigils being threatened by supposedly armed men, white supremacist groups harassing students living in the residence halls, hate crime vandalism, and even students being murdered all without immediate response and action from the University. We, as students, come to this school to participate in the hands on engagement of knowledge in a safe and open environment. However the events of this past week most starkly demonstrate that that safe environment does not extend to all of OSU’s students. Do we not have the right to feel as safe and secure within our learning community as the majority of this campus does? Do we not have the right to participate in the fundamental purpose of a university- the pursuit of knowledge in a setting that promotes learning from all different disciplines and backgrounds? Do we not have the right to feel safe and secure as we navigate our way through our higher education? I pose all of these questions and more because it seems that our standing in this university is being questioned. It is 2012 and the students of colour on this campus still do not have that space where they can all feel as comfortable to navigate the many resources and avenues of this university without feeling the discomfort of ‘not being in the right place.’ We should be able to go anywhere, participate in anything, and take full advantage of the standing of being a student without this discomfort. We ourselves know that we are entitled to the equal experience of being a student at this university but it is time for this University to stand up and INCLUDE us in the full rights and experiences of this higher education system.
Thank you for your time.
To get involved with the movement please follow the link below to sign the petition. Even if you are not an Ohio State University student please participate still. The issues we face on this campus are only a reflection of the greater issues facing this nation.
This movement started in direct relation to the vandalism on our Black Cultural Center the morning following the disruptions at the Vigil held to honour those killed in racially charged crimes.
Below is an image vandalized on the morning of Friday, April 6th following the reactionary Call to Action Meetings from the previous day.
This is how we fight back. We refuse to stay silent on this matter. We refuse to roll over and just accept that this is the status quo. And we refuse to allow the University to continue as it has before. The first main objective of our sit-in was to get the University to issue a Crime Alert to the entire university so that campus-wide everyone is made aware of the hate crimes being committed in and around campus. At 5:18 p.m. we were successful in achieving the first of our demands.
In solidarity we all wore black as we banded together to “be the change we want to see” on this campus.
I hope this posts sparks some conversation on the state of student activism in modern times and the state of race relations in the Americas and beyond.