EMU’s Student Government Association Statement on the Death of George Floyd and Related Events

Eastern Mennonite University’s Student Government Association posted this statement June 3, 2020.

To the EMU Community, 

As EMU’s Student Government Association, we would like to denounce, affirm, acknowledge, and make commitments in response to the most recent unjust deaths of people of color in this country. 

Firstly, we denounce all forms of racism and bigotry. As outlined in our SGA constitution, it is our duty to “oppose and challenge any forms of discrimination, prejudice, and violence against students or student groups on campus.” Displays of intolerance, whether flagrant or subtle, go directly against our school’s mission to “prepare students to serve and lead in a global context”.

We affirm, specifically, our black students who are most affected by recent and past events of racism in our country. We affirm protests and demonstrations being carried out in the name of justice and against systematic violence. 

We acknowledge that the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade are four of countless unjust deaths of people of color in our country. We acknowledge that these deaths are not isolated incidents and that the public outrage in response to these deaths is long overdue. We acknowledge that we have been slow to listen to students of color in our university, just as the public has been to people of color in the United States. 

We make a commitment to holding our university accountable, to providing resources for all students to learn more, and to continuing the conversation through the means of art, committees within SGA, and staying informed. We name that many of our clubs that serve as affinity groups for marginalized voices unfairly bear the burden of continually providing programming aimed at educating our broader campus community about subjects such as white privilege. Lastly, we reiterate that we serve all of our students, and we welcome continued feedback in how we can better do so. 

In solidarity,

The Student Government Association Executive Team