Dear Washington University Student,
As you have likely heard, the grand jury decision in the case of Police Officer Darren Wilson will be announced this evening. However you feel about the outcome from the grand jury, the events of this summer and fall have raised some very hard questions for all of us – questions about racial and economic inequalities in our region, our nation and around the globe. These difficult issues will not be quickly or easily solved; however, my hope remains that we will commit to finding meaningful ways to heal and work toward a stronger and more engaged community.
I know some of you have already left for the holiday break while others are here in on campus. If you are interested in participating in a conversation about the grand jury decision, expressing yourself and working toward solutions, I hope you will consider coming to Tisch Commons in the DUC tonight from 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Campus Diversity Collaborative, and the Social Justice Center are co-sponsoring Talking Circles. There will be another Talking Circle tomorrow evening from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion on the 2nd floor of Olin Library. Additionally, the Social Justice Center on the South 40 will have their space open for informal conversation tonight and tomorrow evening until 10:00 p.m.
We know that some of you are interested in participating in protests that will occur around St. Louis. And I also know that you tire of hearing us chide you about being safe, but I am still going to say the following. If you plan to join in activities off campus, please keep the following safety suggestions in mind:
- Travel in groups – do not travel alone.
- Let others know where you are going and when you plan to return.
- Carry a charged cell phone and identification with you.
- Follow the instructions of law enforcement if asked to leave an area.
- If a situation becomes violent, move immediately to a safe location.
Some students have asked me about additional transportation from campus to the St. Louis airport tomorrow and Wednesday. The student-led U-Shuttle will be offering shuttles tomorrow (Tuesday) to both terminals of Lambert Airport from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Shuttles are $10 and will leave from the Clocktower every 30 minutes. Tickets are available at www.u-shuttle.com Additionally the university will be offering free shuttles to the airport from the Clocktower on Wednesday, November 26 from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The ending of the semester brings many challenges beyond completing your schoolwork. You are concluding the commitments that you have made to an array of campus organizations, and tending to your friends and floormates. The issues that face the St. Louis region add another layer to inevitable stress of this time of year. Please let me know if there is any way in which I can support you.
With best personal regards,
Vice Chancellor for Students