Shepard: Election has ‘incited a notion of fear’; ‘We need to act’


Manny De Los Santos

File photo – Manny De Los Santos

During Wichita State Student Government Association’s 59th Session State of the Student Body Address, Student Body President Joseph Shepard addressed what he sees as a “feeling of uncertainty” created by the election of President-elect Donald Trump, particularly in regards to undocumented and LGBTQA students, faculty and staff.

Shepard said it is SGA’s job to work with administration to “establish a protocol” that supports and protects undocumented and LGBTQA individuals.

Shepard said that regardless of individuals’ stances on the election, “we must remove the emotion from the situation and look at the facts.”

“There have been some things said that have truly incited a notion of fear in certain students,” Shepard said.

Shepard said it is SGA’s job to stand with these students in times of distress, fear and uncertainty.

“There are some Shockers who leave their home in the morning not knowing if they will return the same way they left, or return home at all,” Shepard said. “Let that sink in.”

Shepard said many Shockers, including himself, have the privilege of knowing they won’t be deported.

“I won’t be asked to leave,” Shepard said. “But there are some Shockers on this campus who people want gone.

“We need to act immediately. We need to act immediately. Let me say that one more time. We need to act immediately and not wait for something to happen in order to establish a protocol which protects our undocumented students, faculty and staff from unfair investigation, intimidation and deportation.”

Shepard said that while WSU’s LGBTQA support has “come a long way,” the LGBTQA community as a whole is under attack.

“Often times, because it is the LGBTQA community, those attacks go unnoticed, they go unheard of, and they go unsolved and unaddressed,” Shepard said. “No more. We need to make sure when they step foot on campus, they feel safe.

“We have a long way to go. They need us.”

Shepard also addressed recruitment and retention at Wichita State and the letters members of SGA sent to the Kansas Board of Regents addressing concerns they felt about WSU administration. The full State of the Student Body Address is available for streaming on SGA’s Facebook page.