Eastern Mennonite University student leaders have added their names to a growing list of university student government presidents with an anti-hate call for the nation’s leaders.
Following Student Government Association (SGA) discussion and consensus, co-presidents Caleb Schrock-Hurst and Adam Harnish signed the #StudentsAgainstHate statement originated by their University of Virginia counterparts in response to the August “Unite the Right” rally and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The statement demands “full dedication to this collective work of fighting white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and all other forms of hate, even and especially when such action might prove challenging.” The full statement was published in the Nov. 13 Washington Post.
Read the full statement here.
Student leaders from nearly 60 institutions from the University of Wisconsin to the University of Florida to University of California, Berkeley to the University of Delaware signed the statement, as did those from other Virginia schools including College of William & Mary, James Madison University, Radford University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech.
“Our student body is full of people directly threatened by political actions in Charlottesville,” said Schrock-Hurst. “We have a moral, religious, and political responsibility to do whatever we can to support them and let them know that we stand with them against hate.”
Schrock-Hurst said that stating a clear position is one step toward change. “Being able to join our voices with leaders from other schools helped give me a lot of hope,” he said. “There are hundreds, thousands of other young people out there also working in their schools and communities to try to make the U.S. a place for everyone, not just a few.”
Harnish said that just as student government leaders must understand the wishes of their peers, so must national leaders understand citizens.
“As we talked with many students across campus, we really felt it was important that EMU be a part of this statement,” he said. “Hopefully our unity with so many other campuses across the country can remind our country’s government what we all want from them.”