What it means to be a community

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 in Campus News and News

Following tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere that have drawn national attention to issues of race and diversity, KU student leaders and administrators released statements last week.

Morgan Said, student body president, and Miranda Wagner, student body vice president, released the following statement.

“In the wake of recent local and national events, student activism at the University of Kansas has produced constructive dialogue among students, staff, and faculty surrounding issues of race and social justice. Student Senate strongly encourages these discussions to continue, as they are crucial to a community that strives for continuous improvement.”

The complete statement is available on the Student Senate website at studentsenate.ku.edu.

Provost Vitter via kualumni.orgChancellor Gray-Little via kualumni.orgChancellor Gray-Little noted the ongoing campus conversation in her final campus message of the semester.

“Important conversations taking place regarding race, law enforcement, and how our society can better ensure that everyone can be safe and have his or her rights protected are what we hope for from our students and community. We want our students to be active, engaged citizens, and so the fact they are willing to stand up for their beliefs and call for change is itself worthy of recognition. I want to commend everyone who has engaged in these discussions in a civil, productive manner, which is in the proud tradition of community dialogue at our university.”

The complete message to all faculty and staff can be read at http://chancellor.ku.edu/news/2014/dec8.

Provost Jeff Vitter sent the following message to all students, faculty and staff on the last day of classes.

“During recent weeks, our country and campus have engaged in an important and sometimes challenging dialogue about race. I want to thank the students, members of the faculty, and staff who have focused this community’s attention to this dialogue.

Yesterday, Chancellor Gray-Little and I met with groups of students for productive discussions on how KU can become a more supportive and welcoming community to all. And last night I had the opportunity to attend and speak at a Student Senate forum on diversity. I was moved by the passion of students who spoke about the importance of mutual respect.

The chancellor joins me in support for all who have given voice to the frustration of those seeking answers to questions regarding race. You challenge us to reflect upon our own efforts toward diversity and mutual respect, which, while commendable in many areas, are also only a beginning. We unconditionally condemn the racist remarks that a cowardly few have made, hidden behind the veil of social media anonymity. Such hate speech has no place in an environment built upon respectful dialogue of the issues.”

Read the Provost’s full message at https://provost.ku.edu/enews/20141211.

Additional coverage of discussions and demonstrations taking place at KU has been provided by the University Daily Kansan. Alumni are encouraged to voice their opinions at any time through the KU Alumni Association at kualumni@kualumni.org or through the Chancellor’s office at chancellor.ku.edu/improve-ku.

– David Johnston

Tags: , , , , , , ,