Unity rally held two days after EMU discovered racist hate speech
A recent EMU graduate turned faculty member sent University Christian Fellowship Director Sarah Jackson a message on the morning of the initial discovery of the racist hate speech that was painted on the wall of King Hall, which motivated Pastor Jackson, her staff, and members of UCF to put together a unity rally held just over 48 hours after. Thursday afternoon's rally took place less than 30 minutes after another email update was issued from EMU administration. Students have been voicing concerns that administration is not doing enough to cater to their overall well-being since Tuesday.
“We need our school to be more supportive of our emotional and mental well-being. I still say we deserve a day off. We are doing a lot of work to better ongoing issues. It should not be up to students in this way. We should be involved and at the center this issue, but we have lives and if our grades slip then it’s our fault, and that’s not fair,” said Alexcia Yelder, student President of N.A.P.S (Natural Authentic Passionate Stylish).
The unity rally was attended by over 75 members of the EMU community, including students, faculty, administration, alumni, and other campus organization affiliates. The third update discussed some evolutions in the ongoing cases, EMU’s stance for inclusion, and also provided a time and location to inform readers of the UCF unity rally.
The EMU Department of Public safety has contacted members of EMU's Physical plant. They have been seen actively working on resolutions to provide better lighting in the areas targeted. In addition security contractors are not being allowed to leave campus until a new camera has been installed in the courtyard of King Hall where the initial hate speech was discovered.
Following the racially motivated crimes EMU’s student body has not effectively been made aware of the counseling resources available on campus. Director of Counseling and Psychological Services Lisa Lauterbach and several other faculty counselors attended the rally to show support and to provide a face for the Snow Health Center.
“Just today through dialog with students we have become aware that students are not seeing the CAPS information provided in the campus updates. We are now aware that a shorter separate email is needed and that will be coming out today,” said Dr. Lisa Lauterbach, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
During the rally Pastor Sarah Jackson and other speakers called for love and unity within the EMU community through dialog, song, spoken word, and prayer.
“The reality is that as much as we have students of different cultures in the same room it doesn’t mean they will understand each other. UCF is pressing on the bigger picture of understanding each other,” said Pastor Sarah Jackson, “We need to come together. It’s not a war on just black people. It’s a war on the basic essentials that makes us humans, and the basic essentials that make us connected to one another.”
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Members of the EMU community, including students, faculty, administration, alumni, and other campus organization affiliates listened to ideas surrounding love and unity.