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Message of Solidarity from the College of Science Graduate Student Council

Dear USU College of Science Students, Faculty, and Staff:

The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have once again exposed the ongoing (and escalating) police brutality, general violence, and lack of accountability for these actions that disproportionately impacts Black people in America. 

Furthermore, ongoing protests across the United States have served to highlight the deep trauma and pain experienced by generations of Black people as a result of systemic racism and inequity. We condemn the violent actions taken against Black people by those in power, and recognize these actions as an attempt to further oppress and silence Black voices. Our thoughts are with the loved ones and communities of Floyd, Taylor, Arbery, and countless others who have lost their lives through violent and racist attacks against the Black community. However, we feel strongly that thoughts are not enough.

The College of Science Graduate Student Council stands in solidarity with, and support of, the Black community as well as all others affected by systemic injustice. We condemn the actions of those who uphold, profit from, and perpetuate systemic racism in this country. As a scientific and academic community, we have a responsibility to change how we approach our understanding of race and the systemic injustices that prevent full participation of all groups. Thus, we are calling for both reflection and action from the USU College of Science.

We encourage all members of the CoS to support each other in acknowledging and reflecting upon institutionalized racism within academia and beyond. We advocate for actively listening to and elevating the voices and experiences of persons who are often silenced. We strongly recommend taking advantage of existing campus educational resources such as implicit bias training and upstander training as well as external resources. Finally, given the relatively small amount of power graduate students hold in any university community and in keeping with USU's stated values of diversity, human dignity, and social responsibility, we urge the CoS faculty, departmental leadership, and college leadership to promptly and unambiguously speak up and out against racial injustice.

Sincerely,

The College of Science Graduate Student Council
Helen Plylar, Chair (Biology)
Zachary Gibson, Representative (Physics)
Sarah Bogen, Representative (Mathematics and Statistics)
Hannah Domgaard, Representative (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
Binod Borah, Representative (Biology)
Harriet Cornachione, Representative (Geosciences)
Neal Criddle, former Representative (Physics)