To our fellow members of the Fordham Community,

We, the members of the United Student Government, want to take a minute and reflect upon the bias incidents that were committed on the Rose Hill campus last week, in light of the deadly hate crimes that targeted Jewish, immigrant, and Black communities around the country over the weekend.

We condemn the actions of students who drew a swastika and wrote hateful racial slurs on desks and tables around campus. As a Jesuit institution, Fordham strives to uphold the dignity and uniqueness of each person and provide students with a formative education that teaches us to become “men and women, for and with others.” These bias incidents counter the mission of the University and damage Fordham’s sense of community. We will not tolerate hateful sentiments to exist within the Rose Hill campus and beyond Fordham’s gates.

But, our words and sentiments condemning these bias incidents are not enough.

In his eulogy for the children killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. urged the congregation to “be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.”

In light of the bias incidents that were committed on campus, as well as the deadly shootings in both Pittsburgh and Jeffersontown, Dr. King’s words challenge us as a Fordham community to examine the root causes of hatred and racism. Dr. King calls us to reflect upon the factors that have allowed for hatred expressed toward Jewish, immigrant, and Black communities to fester among individuals both at Fordham and throughout the country.

This also requires us as a Fordham community to be critical of ourselves. We need to reflect on the instances in which we have fallen complacent to the issues of racism and anti-Semitism on campus. Until we can look at ourselves as a University through a critical lens and address areas where we have been apathetic to these issues, bias incidents like the ones committed last week will continue to occur on campus.

We need to work harder in our initiative to ensure that the Fordham community is a more diverse, inclusive, and loving community for all.