Good morning to my peers, the faculty and administration, and all members of the WCSU and Danbury community.
It pains me to have to address the issue at hand, however, I feel a responsibility to do so as the elected Student Body President. After reading the email President Clark sent informing us of the horrific incident that occurred on campus in regard to the posting of hate-filled flyers and the vandalization of University property, I felt an overwhelming sense of disappointment. The fact that behavior like this still even exists in our world makes me sick; I look forward to a time when we all live in peace knowing that people aren’t being judged for being different from others. I know that I will be praying for those individuals who have so much hate in their hearts to do such a thing as what has occurred.
One of the many things I’ve always loved about Western Connecticut State University is our relentless attitude to welcome diversity and differences in people. These individuals had a choice to do what they did and we have a choice in how we respond; there is not a doubt in my mind that we will use what has happened to strengthen our university community. As Michelle Obama said: when they go low, we go high. I feel grateful that our University is working with state and local authorities as well as the FBI to find the perpetrators of this incident and I know and trust that they are doing everything in their power to keep us safe.
This kind of hatred and intolerance is not and never will be accepted at WCSU. As the Student Government Association, we feel it is our responsibility to foster an environment of acceptance, inclusion and the celebration of individuality.
We partnered with the office of InterCultural Affairs, the Counseling Center and the Women’s Center and provided students with a Safe Haven on Monday, November 4th from 11:00am – 5:00pm. Some of us were also able to attend the outdoor vigil hosted in the Midtown Student Center Plaza, “United Against Hate,” which was a collaboration between the Black Student Union (BSU), Black Social Workers Association (BSWA), Latin American Student Organization (LASO), African-Caribbean Student Association (ACSA), and Speak Truth to Power (STP). I feel truly blessed that we have student organizations on campus that care about the general well-being of our peers and I can only hope that those who are brave enough to use their voices speak loud enough for those who feel like they can’t.
We would like to say thank you to the WCSU Police Department for staffing a Police Officer to be present throughout this day, ensuring that those students who chose to attend felt safe. To reiterate what Dr. Clark has said, please make sure to contact University police at (203) 837-9300 if you have any information or may have witnessed what happened.
If there is anything we can do for you as student leaders on campus, please feel free to stop by our office at the Midtown Student Center in room 215, email email@example.com or call our office at (203) 837-8711.
We are and we will continue to be students, advocating for other students. We need to support each other in times like these and you can trust that we are here for each of you.
Paul M. Horkan