August 18, 2017
On Monday (Aug. 14), Texas Tech University Student Body President Robbie Meyer joined more than 160 collegiate student body presidents in signing a statement speaking out against discrimination and showing support for students at the University of Virginia (UVA) and the residents of Charlottesville, Virginia. Last weekend, UVA and the city of Charlottesville were the site of the Unite the Right rally attended by white nationalists protesting the removal of Confederate monuments and memorials from public spaces.
“As student body presidents across the United States, we are deeply saddened by the events that have occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia,” the statement reads. “We are united with the students of the University of Virginia, as what affects one of our campuses affects us all. If the students of the University of Virginia or the citizens of Charlottesville need any assistance, please know you have a network of universities that supports you.”
Those attending the rally included members of white supremacist, neo-Nazi, neo-Confederate and other far-right groups. The rally turned violent, with dozens injured and one counter-protester killed after a rallygoer drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. Two state police officers helping monitor the rally also were killed when their helicopter crashed.
The statement, signed by student leaders from 40 states and the District of Columbia, calls upon their peers to speak up when they witness instances of injustice instead of allowing their silence to turn them into bystanders in oppression. Meyer said the statement was the result of a small group of student body presidents coming together to stand in solidarity against discrimination. It was shared in a group messaging app, and signatures and support increased as word spread to other campuses.
“If we stand in solidarity, the likelihood for a change in mindset of others is greater,” Meyer said. “Student body presidents from across the country have come together to sign this legislation stating that we do not stand for discrimination of any kind. I believe this is a powerful representation of how we feel regarding discrimination or slander of any student.”
The student leaders also shared in the statement their belief that students should be able to feel at home on college campuses without the fear of violence, hate and racism. The statement expresses advocacy for victimized and marginalized students on campus and pledges support and unity for students on their own campuses and elsewhere.
“I hope Texas Tech students will realize our campus is a safe place for them to share their thoughts and opinions without fearing any harassment,” Meyer said. “Every day I feel more honored to be in this position. I am blessed to be leading such a compassionate and understanding student body. The administration of our school is fantastic and supports the student body wholeheartedly.
“I commend the student body president of UVA for staying strong through this tough time and I hope the community will see how students are taking a stand,” Meyer added. “If students like us can do this, then anyone can. We stand against discrimination together.”
The Student Government Association encourages student involvement and provides opportunities to develop a lifetime relationship with Texas Tech University for each student and to keep Texas Tech University at the forefront of higher education.Twitter