This past Wednesday, December 9th, messages were placed over the Black Lives Matter message painted near Richland Avenue reading: “Wake up you neo-Progressive f**** we’re more alike than we are different, everyone goes through their own shit. Life transcends race and gender.” While we recognize that anyone is free to paint on the graffiti wall, we also recognize that the messages written are problematic and not exclusive to just this one incident on campus.
We as a community need to recognize that some African Americans feel as if their lives are not always valued to the same extent in society, and on our campus. That is why we need #blacklivesmatter.
Instead of spreading messages of misunderstanding, I urge you to make the time to connect with the African American community on campus, and hear their concerns. Seek to understand their experiences and why they do not feel as valued in our community. Learn how to be an ally.
I urge the university administration to make the time to listen to our African American community and their concerns. Take these concerns seriously. We need to work together to find resolutions in this matter, and be proactive in taking steps towards eradicating racism at Ohio University.
The Ohio University Student Senate supports our African American students and their experiences. We will continue to work towards cultural competency classes in conjunction with BLAC and other student groups. We will work towards retention and recruitment of African American students and faculty by assessing our current practices and proving feedback on improvement. And we will be looking to students and analyzing the recent statistics of the survey provided by the NAACP on how to improve our campus climate for African American students.
If you have concerns please feel free to come to Baker 305, or send us an email at [email protected]
Gabby Bacha is the president of Ohio University’s Undergraduate Student Senate and is a senior studying political science.