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Statement from Augustana College’s Student Government Association Leadership

June 2, 2020

Dear Augustana Community,

The leaders of Student Government Association at Augustana College are united in condemning acts of police brutality and racially-motivated violence. The most recent acts of this violence have tragically taken the lives of Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Aubrey, and George Floyd. Their names must not be forgotten. These horrifying and inexcusable acts of violence must be stopped. 

We stand with Augustana’s Black students as well as Black communities across the country, and we will continue to be active allies for change. We encourage all members of the Augustana community to use their voices and openly fight for justice. We must do everything we can to support the victims of police brutality to fight for an end to these disheartening actions. Now is the time to come together to acknowledge systemic injustice, to condemn acts of racism, violence and hatred, and to work together to create change.

For ideas on how to be an active ally, please see this article and remember that individuals have profound impacts on their communities. Additionally, give others a voice by participating in #BlackOutTuesday on social media. The goal of this movement is to amplify the voices of the Black community by halting personal social media posts and instead sharing information directly from the Black community. If you wish to participate in #BlackOutTuesday, you should not use #BlackLivesMatter. This is not a time to be silent. Instead it is a time for all of us to educate ourselves and others.

Student Government Association is responsible for supporting, serving, and amplifying the voices of the student body. We are entrusted with cultivating a safe and just environment at Augustana in which all students feel accepted and welcomed. We would like to emphasize the importance of working together to rid our campus of racism and prejudice; it cannot be tolerated in our community.

As we look forward to the upcoming academic year, we will work together as a community to foster increased awareness, education, and appreciation for diversity. Our community is made up of a variety of cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds, all of which are valued. We hope to promote a community that encourages and advances initiatives for inclusivity. Working to make changes at the national level is important and essential, but change begins within small communities. We invite students to share ideas with Student Government on ways that we can promote education and create a more equitable, inclusive, and supportive environment at Augustana. 

We also acknowledge that these events can take a toll on the mental and emotional health of our students, especially the Black members of our community. We encourage students to make use of mental health resources and to care for, check in with, and support each other. 

We hear you, we see you, and we support you. Black Lives Matter.

In Solidarity,

Kaitlyn Watkins, President

Peyton Couch, Vice President

Russell McNab, Chief of Staff

Carl Fasor, Speaker of the Senate

Olivia Smith, Secretary

Sofia Briggs, Treasurer