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Trombley’s Response to Racially Motivated Crime & Black Student Union’s Recent Demands

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Trombley’s Response to Racially Motivated Crime & Black Student Union’s Recent Demands


Additional Reporting by Gerald Jones

Last Wednesday and Sunday, racist slurs were written on the whiteboards in front of the doors of residences of several students of color in Clark Hall. This has sparked outrage on campus from students and organizations– especially from the Black Student Union(BSU). There will be a protest held today at 12:30 on the Academic Mall. In a document shared with the Megaphone, the BSU issued the following demands to Southwestern:

1) The addition of security cameras in the residence halls and in public spaces. 

2) A channel to report racist incidents that socially supports the reporters during and after reporting— as well as explains the confidentiality rules. 

3) A plan to address racially motivated crimes after they happen, including rules as to how the perpetrator or complicit parties will be held responsible. 

4) An established standard for equitable treatment of others: an explanation of what racism looks like, how to equitably as a college student and as a member of the SU community)

5) Making diversity and inclusion training mandatory for staff, faculty, and students. This training will inform faculty members and RAs on how to recognize and respond to racist incidents as well as provide students with behavioral standards on how to respond to racism.  This training would be mandatory and there would be consequences for those who do not attend.

In their statement, BSU says that the overall purpose of the demands is for “our safety be returned to us and respected.” 

In her recent email to the campus community, President Trombley spoke about the incident in Clark.  In the email, she stated that the following actions would be implemented in response to the racist acts: 

  • surveillance cameras in/around first-year residence halls
  • the completion of Student Life’s “bias response protocol and team” 
  • the creation of an anonymous survey to report racist incidents 
  • new sanctions for violations of the Student Handbook’s bias policies 
  • rewards for information identifying persons responsible for the incidents in Clark 
  • the creation of a Students’ Bill of Humanity
  • creation of a telephone tip line for anonymous reporting of bias
  • expanding and centralizing the JEDI (Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion) center 

In their written statement, BSU has announced that they will be peacefully protesting today, Wednesday, February 22nd, starting at 12:30 PM in the Bishop’s Lounge and the Academic Mall. BSU encourages students to do whatever is necessary to come out to support POC students— whether that means skipping lunch or leaving class early.

According to the Southwestern Student Handbook, peaceful protests may occur over issues as long as they do not violate law or University policies or deprive other individuals of their rights. Protestors are to “not obstruct streets, sidewalks, elevators, aisles, hallways, entrances, or exits to which the community has access, or any other place for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances.”

BSU plans for there to be testimonies and speeches given by students about their experiences with racism on campus and their demands for change.  Several administrators and faculty members are expected to attend the protest.  

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