The Sunflower

Letter to the Editor — Jesse Allen


Dearest Shockers,

It is abhorrent to see the lengths the current Student Government Association along with the administration of Wichita State University will go to silence the deeply rooted issues regarding race and intolerance on this campus. A hate crime occurred and neither the SGA president nor the president of this university have offered a public apology; regardless of legality, showing empathy towards students — whether they are former student leaders or anyone for that matter — is not incriminating. In a few short months, faculty, administrators, staff, students, and guests of this university will be permitted to carry firearms on campus. Now, more than ever, it is critical that all people affiliated with WSU must set aside their political leanings, and address the problems our non-white peers face everyday.

The gains achieved by the We the Students and the Occupy SGA protesters are nothing short of an accomplishment. Regardless of sincerity, President Hungate has reneged her previous bigoted statements and publicly declared black lives matter. There will be wider representation for traditionally marginalized students in SGA. Finally, and perhaps most significantly, the United We Stand cabinet will receive the diversity trainings that they so desperately need.

But this is not enough. In the town hall meeting on Thursday, May 11, staff of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion praised diversity trainings, but warned that they will never be enough to fix ongoing systemic issues of racial intolerance. More must be done and more must be demanded.

The protesters that sat for two days outside the SGA office did not do so out of clashing ideologies regarding what some flippantly call “identity politics.” Rather, they did so out of fear of what will happen next on our campus. When the protesters asked for Ms. Hungate’s resignation, they did so in belief that her removal from office would be the safest option for our students of color. These students do not have the luxury of living in a world that ensures their education and well-being. Ms. Hungate’s refusal to even recuse herself places an enormous responsibility on all of us to be conscious of how we relate to and interact with people of differing backgrounds.

Finally, I’d like to take this time time to recognize all of the Occupy SGA protesters. Whether you were there for the long haul, stepped in and out, or simply dropped off cookies in between your finals, I say this to you: you have the ability to see what others do not. You have the bravery to call out what others have remained silent upon. It is important to bear witness. In solidarity, I thank you and will forever have your backs.


Jesse Allen

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