Yesterday, Chancellor Wrighton released a statement to the entire Washington University community regarding recent events on our campus and larger St. Louis region. The Washington University contingent of St. Louis Students in Solidarity recognizes the effort and thoughtfulness that went into the Chancellor’s email. We, along with many other students and alumni, view his message as an important first step in holding our Washington University community accountable and taking a necessary stance on the issues plaguing our community and region. This email is a needed departure from previous emails from the administration that did nothing to change the neutrality and apathy of the Washington University community. The statement acknowledged the fact that racism exists on our campus and that Washington University students are not exempt from the biases that led to the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and so many others. Washington University Students in Solidarity will continue to push the administration and the Chancellor to be courageous in actively tackling these issues, ranging from taking a self critical look at how Washington University contributes to racial inequities in the St. Louis region to improving the climate for students, faculty, and staff of color on campus. As Chancellor Wrighton pointed out, “Black lives matter” is more than a slogan of this movement, and we expect that he will take actions with other university leaders to actively work against racism and towards equity. We look forward to presenting our official list of demands in January and ask that the administration lean into the discomfort that may come along with these negotiations as we push our institution to do better and be better.
Washington University contingent of STL Students in Solidarity