Open Response to President Barchi

To President Barchi,

Thank you for that email yesterday but unfortunately you’re a week too late. Actually you’re months late. Some students have not felt safe on campus during most of the election and yet you choose until the eve of a large protest to try to calm everyone down. Being reactive is not as effective as being proactive.

As a president of a large university with all of that diversity that you insist on shoving down our throats, you should have sent an email about the safety of immigrant students right after upcoming president was elected knowing his views on it. And not just about undocumented immigrants but also rape victims, LGBTQA+ students, Muslim students, disabled students. We have all kinds of people on campus including aggressive and violent Trump supporters. It is not only that they have voted against many minority identities that is bad but the fact that they are actively attempting to provoke minorities in their grief and frustration in the wake of the election that has shown that they do not matter. You should have assumed and been proactive about the possibility of any of them threatening or harming any of those minorities. Especially since such events have transpired at different universities and around the country. Especially since people were marking the campus with “Deported” and “Build a Wall” even before Trump was elected. Waiting the day before a large protest to email students trying to form some illusion of harmony is a waste of time. Tensions are already high and things are already planned.

You say that you view us as Rutgers students first but I am here to say that it is one of the last features of my identity. I am a Rutgers student for only a fraction of my life. I am a black woman first and foremost and anyone that attempts to lessen those identities is a threat to my identity. Rutgers is not is some immune bubble that does not get affected by the outside word. On and off campus, minorities will be minorities and you should never try to blur lines or act colorblind to try to connect everyone, especially when the rest of campus does not work that way. I hope that today is a wake up call to you and this country that minorities will not stop standing up for ourselves and voicing our beliefs just because our leadership decides to stay quiet or oppose us.

-Jasanna Sevier

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