Letter to the Editor: Statement from the Protest Organizers

Dear Members of the Student Body,

We would like to extend our deepest thanks to everyone who participated in the protest last Thursday evening. Over 300 people filled Love Auditorium and the Olin lobby to assert our solidarity as POC, survivors and allies. We demonstrated to Heather Mac Donald, the college’s administration, and the Colgate community as a whole that the rhetoric of Mac Donald’s platform presents a direct contradiction against Colgate University’s Mission Statement and that the presence of such rhetoric on this campus will not go unchallenged. Our silent sit-in during Mac Donald’s talk, along with the amazing questions from all of you that followed, presented a united front, a success that completely undermined her goal of creating divisions within our campus and our student body.

Thank you to people who donated to Black Lives Matter: Syracuse as we provide support to all students who are working to make college campuses a better, safer place for marginalized identities. Thank you to everyone who participated in any capacity, whether you helped with the creation of posters, spread the information through social media/GroupMe, live-streamed the event itself, sat in the lobby to take up space, asked a question during the Q&A, etc. The success of this event could not have been realized without you. 

However, we understand that many of the claims made by Mac Donald were deeply troubling, and their impact cannot be understated. We also understand that some were unable to attend for various reasons. To those who could not attend, we believe you, and we stand with you. In the wake of something as unsettling as this talk, we must remember to take care of each other and, above all, to take care of ourselves. If you are in need of extra support, there are resources available to all students through the Counseling Center, Haven, Shaw Wellness Institute, and the Center for Women’s Studies just to name a few spaces.

We would also like to use this opportunity to draw attention to the ongoing initiative that began Thursday night at the debriefing session. Located in WMST, there is a stack of papers with the prompt #WhyIDidntReport for survivors to anonymously share their experiences. We are collecting these testimonials with the larger goal of creating some kind of exhibit to express our solidarity with survivors. 

Moving forward, it is incredibly important that we remain firm in our dedication to creating a framework that prioritizes diversity, inclusion and safety for all. As the student senators shared during the debriefing session, the conversation surrounding the policies that allowed this event to happen will continue in the SGA proceedings on Tuesday. These senate meetings are held every Tuesday at 7 pm in the Persson Auditorium, and they are open for all students to attend. Outside of addressing the issue to SGA, the Muslim Student Association is currently drafting a letter to President Casey and the deans about what it means for the university to host someone like this. Real, legislative changes in how student activities are run can only be achieved with your continued support. 

 

In solidarity,

Claire Carson ‘20 ([email protected])

Anne Getz Eidelhoch ‘20 ([email protected])

Louisa Fowler ‘20 ([email protected])

Autumn Lopez ‘21 ([email protected])

Janisa Middleton ‘22 ([email protected])

Jaritza Núñez ‘21 ([email protected])

Joanna Rodriguez ‘22 ([email protected])

Dalia Skolnick ‘23 ([email protected])

Selena Vanapruks ‘20 ([email protected])

Trixie Yoo ‘22 ([email protected])