USG statement in light of the current campus climate

Samuel Graska

With the end of the semester year quickly approaching, I thought we might take a few moments to address and reflect on some of the events of the past year.

I know neither our campus or national climate is in a place where we would like it to be. Nevertheless, I challenge you to move forward and strive for civility in all situations. As we ponder the recent acts at The Ohio State University, and on our own campus, it is important that we remain a community unified in strength and respect.

We are living in a difficult time: one of uncertainty and confusion. It is going to take all of us together to rise above the darkness that is surrounding us.

We must take the time to cherish those around us, to mourn the innocent lives that have been lost, to reject stereotypes and discrimination and appreciate — but educate — those who are uninformed about the climate around them.

This is not a charge to any one individual, nor is it a call to action to any specific demographic; This is a call to action for all of us.

We want this campus to be a safe and welcoming community for everyone, regardless of religious belief, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age or major.

We must all take responsibility for the defense and the respect of one another. Without each other, we are nothing but a divided campus, a divided nation and a divided world. Unification must start somewhere with someone, so why not us?

We are all unique. We all have different stories. Our diversity is beautiful, and to treat it as anything less is intolerable.

Only together can we fight this negative climate, only together can we do our best to change those mindsets that would rather tear us down, and only together can we heal the wounds of the past to make a better tomorrow.

As we prepare for the coming new year and the start of a new semester, let us remind ourselves of the importance of standing up for our core values that are fundamental to Kent State and to who we are.

Together, we are “Undeniably Kent State.” Together, we are a better United States of America. Together, we are a better world.

Samuel Graska is the USG student body president, contact him at [email protected].