For as long as I can remember there has been police brutality against the black community. In the last few years, it has become quite common to hear news stories or see social media hashtags addressing this issue. The latest incident of this kind occurred on May 25, 2020 and the victim was George Floyd. Floyd was a black man who was arrested and murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minn. Due to the fact that the arrest took place in a major city, there were many people who witnessed this brutal event. These witnesses soon took to social media to express their disappointment with the police officers in our country.
This episode of police brutality has caused Americans to seriously think about the race relations in our country. Immediately following this event, universities, companies and other important forces in American society released statements in support of the black community, as well as other minorities. It is extremely important for institutions with large amounts of influence to speak on these issues. They have the ability to talk about issues that often go unnoticed and are considered too ‘uncomfortable’ to speak about. Some of the universities who have released statements are Seton Hall, Cornell, Harvard, Yale, Montclair, Fordham, University of Pennsylvania, Southern Florida College and SUNY Binghamton. However, one university that has waited an unusually long amount of time to release a statement is our own institution: Fairfield University. I find this odd that Fairfield University did not immediately release a statement considering that they always seem to be talking about the importance of diversity and inclusion in our community. Their delayed response in this difficult time has particularly made minority students question the morality of the Fairfield University administration. Are we simply just a statistic to them? In the early afternoon of June 1, Luckario Alcide ‘21 took to Instagram to express his opinion about Fairfield’s lack of a response to this issue. Alcide stated in his Instagram Live video that:
“As a student at an institution that…claims to promote diversity, equality and justice for all in its mission; it pains me, I am trembling right now, but it pains me to just sit back and still wait for them to make a statement.”
Alcide’s Instagram Live video can be found on his account @luckarioalcide.
The Fairfield University Student Association released a statement in the late afternoon of June 1, and it was short, sweet and focused on the importance of unity and love. President Nemec finally released Fairfield University’s statement through email around 7:00 pm on June 1. In this statement he spoke about the racial conditions in our country and hopes that Fairfield University remains a place where the truth is celebrated. Though this statement is at least a step in the right direction, it is quite upsetting that it took members of the Fairfield University community calling out the institution for not yet releasing a statement for them to finally do so.
We all want to be a part of a university that seeks to protect all of its students from violence. I hope that Fairfield University understands that their delay to release a statement severely upset much of its student body and made them feel less protected and supported during this difficult time. Fairfield University needs to make sure that it reminds its student body that we are all equal and need to approach problems with love, not violence.
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