ASG passes resolution demanding University condemn recent racist campus incidents


(Owen Stidman/Daily Senior Staffer)

From left to right: Meron Amariw, Soteria Reid, Christian Wade and Emma Evans discuss a resolution demanding the University condemn recent racist incidents on campus during ASG Senate.

Atul Jalan, Reporter

Associated Student Government on Wednesday unanimously passed an emergency resolution calling on the University to acknowledge and condemn recent racist incidents on campus and “its failure to adequately address them, as well as its failure to support Black students.”

The resolution, which gained over 300 co-sponsors, comes in response to the discovery of a noose in the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion on March 15 and a sticker with the white supremacist slogan “It’s okay to be white” that was discovered in Allison Dining Hall on April 6, among other incidents. University Police investigated the appearance of similar “IT’S OKAY TO BE WHITE” posters in November 2017.

University senior leadership issued a statement in response to inquiries from The Daily strongly condemning the incident involving the noose-shaped rope, in addition to launching an investigation into the matter, though there have not been any updates on its progress. A University spokesperson issued another statement earlier this month saying that UP would investigate the sticker, adding acts of hate would “note be tolerated.” Neither statements were made to the broader public.

Thus, one demand of the resolution is that the University not only investigate all such incidents, but also make those investigations more transparent to the student body.

“I’ve definitely seen that this school likes to push things under the rug and it happens with things that I don’t necessarily agree with,” said Saqib Siddiqi, the senator for the South Asian Student Alliance. “We’re not a very politically active school — this isn’t like Berkeley — and so they just think that these kids are so busy, they’ll forget it about it.”

Weinberg senator Christian Wade, a co-author of the resolution, said that because the University issued its statement condemning the noose only to The Daily and not the wider Northwestern community, it lacked the transparency the incident merited.

Students who do not read the paper, of which there are a substantial number, Wade said, were never aware of the incidents.

“There needs to be an attitude within the administration to really take black students’ concerns seriously,” Wade said. “Too many times I feel like the concerns of black students can be misconstrued as, ‘They’re just complaining just to complain,’ but there really are issues that do impact us on a daily basis that everyone doesn’t see.”

Wade said that it was important that the wording of the resolution is not watered down. The document currently demands the University acknowledge its failure to support black students generally.

Wade said the resolution makes clear the extent of the black student population’s dissatisfaction, especially after the University’s refusal to push out controversial researcher Satoshi Kanazawa following fierce student opposition to his presence at Northwestern.

Medill sophomore Emma Evans, the ASG co-vice president for campus life and a co-author of the resolution, said the document was written largely because of what she and others within ASG deemed an inadequate response from the University to the aforementioned incidents.

“It’s emergency legislation because we want it to happen now, not next week,” Evans said. “The longer we wait, the less likely (the University is) to make a formal statement.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @jalan_atul

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