We want to thank everyone who participated in the Black State of the Union last Tuesday. It was an important event for many reasons. Mainly, we need more opportunities to speak directly with the administration. We need  the administration to be more transparent with the students.

We feel that there  is a disconnect between the students and the administration. We have noticed that this community feels detached from the higher-ups at Miami University. At a school with 16,000 students, that is to be expected. At the end of the day, not everyone will have the chance to meet with the faculty members that were  present on the panel this past Tuesday. And that is one reason why we felt this event was important. There are some things that our community needed to hear straight from the administration.

Specifically, we needed to hear from the administration  why the student who used a racial slur in a GroupMe message could not be removed from the community.  

We feel as though   dean of students, Mike Curme said it best when he said that removing the student from the Miami community would be the equivalent of taking a cup of water from a full tub. What he means by that is, removing a little bit of toxicity from a community will not do any good when the rest of the community still has the same issues.

We must work to change this institution from the inside out.

That means changing freshman education courses and putting racial awareness education into things like orientation and Welcome Weekend.

That’s why we believe it is important to work with the administration and not against them.

We, as members of the Kappa Delta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. thought it was extremely important to have an event like this one.

Initially, our  idea was somewhat different from the event that took place last Tuesday, although the plan was still to touch upon similar themes with regards to racism on campus. However, after the unfortunate incident, we wanted to  focus on how can we turn this negative occurrence into a long-lasting positive impact for the community.

We believed it was very important to let the voices of all students be heard in a collective manner in front of administration.

Students, faculty, and staff had the opportunity to voice their questions and concerns through the #WhatIsLoveAndHonor. The hashtag was monitored throughout the forum and several of the posts were presented directly to the panel.

Furthermore, we believe that it should not require an incident like this to occur to have these types of discussions. We know they have happened in the past, and they will inevitably  happen again. .

Therefore, our overall goal was to start the conversation once again, with the hope that others would pick it up and keep it at the forefront of the university’s mind, as opposed to discussing it in the moment and forgetting about it until the next incident.

Hopefully, we all now know that this was not the end goal, but merely the beginning to an institutional problem that must be addressed.

thomasjw@miamioh.edu

shephejt@miamioh.edu

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