Letter to the Editor: GPSC addresses concerns around presidential election
The Graduate and Professional Student Council (“GPSC”) recognizes that many within our student body are struggling to process the results of the presidential election. This election, like the campaign season that preceded it, has divided our campus along lines of race, class, gender, nationality and sexuality, and has resulted in an increase in tensions within our student body.
GPSC will not tolerate the violence, in any form, directed against members of our campus community, and GPSC will take seriously our responsibility to advocate on behalf of any student who has been the subject to violence and/or persecution of any kind in the wake of this election by exercising the authority given to us as a constituency body recognized by the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees.
Many members of our campus community may feel the need to express their opposition to the outcome in the form of protest. As per the policies of the SIU Board of Trustees, “Freedom to protest by lawful means must and will be protected by all the authority available to the university. However, when actions of individuals or groups interfere with the legitimate rights of others and are directed at the disruption of the normal processes of university life, they must and will be resisted.”
GPSC will resist with all available authority, the disruption of our campus community through hate speech, violence against members of our campus, and all other actions that interfere with “the legitimate rights of others,” including their right to a safe, welcoming learning environment.
Finally, the officers of the Graduate and Professional Student Council will remain open to all students as a safe space regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, ability status, race, religion, or nationality. As the recognized constituency body of graduate and professional students, GPSC will remain committed to recognizing and validating the needs of all our students.
With warm regards, we are,
Brandon P. Woudenberg, Willie Lyles III and Johnathan Flowers