WCSU Returns to Normal, Reopening Information and Covid-19 Updates

WCSU Racial Justice Coalition

*Public Statements

From Instagram, wcsu_racialjusticecoalition,
Wednesday, March 17, 2021:

 

 

From Dr. John B. Clark, President, Western Connecticut State University,
Friday, March 19, 2021:

Dear members of the WCSU community, 

In the aftermath of the mass murders of eight innocent people — six of them of Asian heritage — this week in Atlanta, I want to share with you my feeling of grief and horror at this continued violence and hatred against our fellow Americans of Asian and Pacific Island descent. Again, I want to state that our University community completely and utterly condemns racial hatred in any form against any group. 

To our students, faculty and staff of Asian and Pacific Island descent, I want to assure you that this university is committed to your security and safety and will stand with you against assault, hateful speech and terror. Indeed, this assurance extends to our entire University community as we fight against this horrible racial pandemic which is absolutely un-American and traitorous to our American ideals and the virtues of inclusion, diversity, mutual respect and understanding that our University stands for. 

It is important for everyone to know that the University has a full support system for those persons affected by these terrible events. 

Please contact any of these offices if you feel threatened or unsafe: 

  • The WCSU Police Department at (203) 837-9300. Call 911 to report an emergency. 
  • Counseling Services at (203) 837-8690. 
  • The Women’s Center for Greater Danbury: (203) 731-5204 and (203) 731-5206. 
  • Employee Assistance ProgramNew Directions. (Enter University Login User Name: Western Connecticut State University
  • The Office of Diversity and Equity, which offers  information and resources related to safety and crime prevention. This office is responsible for addressing all issues of discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence within the WCSU community and stands ready to work with students, faculty, or staff. The Diversity Council is offering a Virtual Coffee to engage the campus on recent events. It will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31. Click here for more information.

It is unfortunate that another outrage which greatly upsets our lives requires me to address our community again. However, it is my hope that we will remain strong against these oppressive acts and support each other against these murderous attacks. We will continue to fight against these terrible threats to our democratic way of life and we will overcome! 

Sincerely, 

Dr. John B. Clark
President 

 

From the Student and Faculty Asian Solidarity Statement,
Published by SGA Student Voice, Western Connecticut State University,
Tuesday, April 2, 2021:

WCSU Community,

Here are statements from Ethan Chan, Bakhtawar “Baki” Izzat, the Racial Justice Coalition, WCSU-SUOAF, and the Student Government Association President. We are writing to address the murders of Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz, Hyun Jung Grant, Soon Chung Park, Suncha Kim, and Yong Ae Yue and stand in solidarity with the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities.

 

Ethan Chan

On March 17th, 2021, the Anti-Asian sentiment present in the United States since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic came to a head when a mass shooting occurred in Atlanta. Among the victims were 6 Asian women.  While mass media outlets were quick to say that the shooting had “nothing to do with race”, the Asian American community knows better.

An Asian American woman was set on fire.

An Asian American man was punched so hard that he was killed.

In the past year, over 3800 instances of anti-Asian hate crimes were reported in the United States, with 500 coming in the past 3 months.

There might not be a prevalent Asian American community at WCSU, but to erase their pain and their experience would be indicative of Asian American erasure that has existed since the 1860s with the introduction of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Universal condemnation of Asian American hate is the only place to start.

 

Baki Izzat

The lives of over 20 million Asian Americans are in your hands.

Over the course of the past year, we have seen countless threats and horrific attacks against our Asian American counterparts. From offensive racial slurs to physical violence, the Asian community has suffered a great deal due to the shared ignorance of, unfortunately, a vast number of Americans.

But let’s make one thing clear: ignorance is not, nor should it ever be, an excuse. Violence should have NO home here, and yet, we’re seeing it daily towards Asian Americans. Furthermore, turning a blind eye to the blatant racism and discrimination that our Asian friends are experiencing contributes to, and even inhibits, the issues we are witnessing first-hand today. To not proactively show support for the Asian American community (in other words, beyond posting on social media), means to continue igniting the flames of hate and racism in this country.

It is in these moments where “community” and “compassion” must prevail. In fact, I would see no greater act of patriotism and humanitarianism than to stand with our Asian American brothers and sisters.

*** Insider lists some impactful ways on how you can support the Asian American community, please click here to see how you can contribute

 

On behalf of the WCSU Racial Justice Coalition

A horrific and heartbreaking surge in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is happening across the United States.  Together, it is our responsibility to condemn hate and create lasting social change.  We are committed to rectifying the racial inequalities in our society and stand in solidarity to protect Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

 

On behalf of the WCSU-SUOAF (State University Organization of Administrative Faculty)

WCSU-SUOAF stands in solidarity with the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities during this time of heightened racially motivated verbal attacks, physical assaults and murders. We stand against all forms of discriminatory practices and racism.  We strive to embrace and celebrate cultural differences.

 

On behalf of the WCSU Student Government Association

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, five percent of WCSU undergraduate students are Asian race/ethnicity as of Fall 2019. There are currently no active student clubs or organizations for any Asian diaspora. I wanted to utilize this statement as a platform for these voices in the WCSU Community to be brought to the forefront.

Racism against Asians is not new. In the past year alone, we saw them receive blame for the COVID-19 pandemic. While social media is an excellent platform to raise awareness, it is crucial to act in solidarity than passively acknowledge Asian hate. There is no formula or textbook method to do this. We must empower ourselves to disarm prejudice on any scale and level – on campus and off – from microaggressions to blatant discrimination. It is long overdue to condemn harmful acts and speech. Having a “phase” from our childhood or teen years where one was ignorant is not an excuse. Having a “different perspective,” “different opinion,” or playing “devil’s advocate” does not apply to racism. I ask everyone to check everyone – meaning everyone – including their friends, family, and others in your circle in the observance of racism. Downplaying any harm is enabling and empowering hate. For example, there is no reason to deal with a “bad day” with violence.

I hope to have more WCSU Asian voices highlighted. Please email me (sgapres@wcsu.edu) or fill out this form. Your statement may be shared on our website and/or social media pages.

 

In solidarity,

Ethan Chan, BFA Musical Theatre, Class of 2023

chan036@wcsu.edu

 

Bakhtawar “Baki” Izzat, BA Political Science, Class of 2021

Izzat003@wcsu.edu

 

Racial Justice Coalition | wcsu.edu/rjc

 

WCSU SUOAF-AFSCME | wcsu.edu/suoaf

 

Anna Adebambo, President, Student Government Association,

sgapres@wcsu.edu

adebambo001@wcsu.edu