This month, current and past Xavier students have gathered through Zoom to discuss and reflect on our experiences as black women on and off Xavier’s campus. These Zoom calls have been influential in giving us a safe space to cope with our shared pain and outrage with not only the recent events but the ill-treatment we have individually faced in the past. Each story shared in these sessions has led to the empowerment of more and more black voices, pleading to be heard. These sessions have also revealed a number of instances where black students felt failed by Xavier. We recognize that the black community at Xavier is small, however, we do not deserve to be ignored. Many students have felt like our struggles are pushed under the rug rather than genuinely accepted for what they are. This needs to change.
The tragic murder of George Floyd has sparked numerous conversions of injustice and systemic racism around the world. It is of utmost importance to incorporate these conversations into our smaller communities. We want Xavier to listen to our stories and recognize that “celebrating unity in diversity” needs to be followed by actions and changes that allow their diverse students to be heard, recognized, and supported. These are not recommendations to be taken lightly. We urge Xavier to hear us and work with us to make the changes that will truly be impactful in support of their black students. We have expressed some of these changes in the past however, we write this letter to explain why we need and deserve for this to happen.
Why we need a Black Student Union
Jada Sims, Class of 2019