W&J Students & Community,
In 1970, the Washington & Jefferson Student Government Association was founded to protect the rights and freedoms of students. We currently see the rights and freedoms of members of our community, particularly our students, in danger from an unjust police action resulting directly from years of systematic racism and oppression. We are outraged by the events that continue to take place - it is and always has been unacceptable. As W&J Students, we agree and sign our names to our Affirmation Statement, which states:
“The mission of Washington & Jefferson College is to graduate students of uncommon integrity, competence, and maturity who are effective lifelong learners and responsible citizens, and who are prepared to contribute substantially to the world in which they live.”
We must represent this Statement to its full capacity. Now, is a time to be “responsible citizens” and “contribute substantially” by supporting our Black peers and community in the fight for justice. We live by our college motto “Juncta Juvant,” Together We Thrive. It is now more important than ever, to come together and help one another. Black Lives Matter. As an organization, we recognize that we have tolerated and allowed the space for unacceptable behaviors on our campus in the past. Moving forward we will lead by example to better implement our college motto and Affirmation Statement throughout our institution. We will not tolerate racism or discrimination in any form within our student body or institution. Changes need to be made and we will lead the way in creating a better future for all W&J students. We strongly encourage everyone to do their part to be advocates and activists for our peers.
We understand that sentiments mean nothing without supporting actions. As the overarching student organization on campus, we promise to do better and to continually find new ways to better support our community. We are committed to creating changes and actions on campus, not just starting conversations. In the coming weeks, we will work with our peers to create a plan of action to achieve a safer environment for all students. We will educate our campus community on how to be better allies. Through these actions, we will develop better accountability when it comes to supporting our Black community. We will do all we can in the fight for justice for all. We reaffirm our continued support of the Black community and will work hard to improve W&J so it is a more inclusive home for all.
At the end of this message resources are provided to support the current movements. We encourage everyone to take part in any way you are able to.
Washington & Jefferson Student Government Association Executive Board and Class Representatives
Ways to Help: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co
Links to donate to Bail Fund across the country for arrested protestors: https://linktr.ee/transnormativity
A way to spilt donations between several different Bail Funds or donate individually: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bail_funds_george_floyd
How to prepare to protest: https://right-to-protest.org/protect-your-protest/at-the-protest/be-prepared-in-case-things-go-wrong/
What to do if you are exposed to Tear Gas: https://www.prevention.com/health/a32719628/tear-gas-treatment/