SCU Alumni for Liberation
November 3, 2016
This letter is a message of solidarity and support to you, the students who are experiencing trauma and who have been otherwise negatively impacted by the recent incidents of hate on campus.
Whether you were impacted by the events that occurred in Casa Italiana, in the Ayotzinapa walkway memorial or in other incidents of targeted hate, including those that were not captured on video or screenshots, we know that these events cause pain and diminish safety on a daily basis.
We have been closely following related news media and updates regarding the most current events on SCU’s campus. As a result, we are angry, frustrated and concerned.
We are people of color.
We are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community members.
We are alumni of different faiths, spiritualities and belief systems.
We are the Multicultural Center (MCC).
We are the Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA).
We are the Santa Clara Community Action Program (SCCAP).
We are Gay and Straight People Educating for Diversity (GASPED).
We are the past residents of the Unity RLC.
We are members of multicultural Greek organizations.
We are the mentees of transformational SCU faculty and staff.
We are the leaders and participants of the past three Unity movements.
We are the alumni who received hate mail that targeted our queer, ethnic and racial identities.
We are the multicultural clubs and organizations who always had to fight for space on campus.
We are the alumni who want our historic mural resurrected from residence hall basements.
We are the ones who read the anonymous posts on Yik Yak and Dogears.
We are the alumni whose classmates partied at “Cinco de Maples” and other racially-themed, offensive events.
We work in all systems of higher education.
We work in both public and private sectors of high tech, medicine, law, education, entertainment and beyond.
We are many, we are united and we are mobilized. We are SCU alumni in pursuit of liberation.
This letter is to remind the Santa Clara University community of the cyclical nature of hateful and discriminatory practices that have created a hostile environment that has existed at SCU for decades.
This hostility is indicative of a culture of oppression that exists, not only in the actions of individual students, but is also woven into the fabric of longstanding systems and functions of the administration.
Unfortunately, our institution has very short memory. We remember the marginalization and the pain, and the way we had to shoulder the burden of healing and educating ourselves. We are alumni of many different ages and these memories continue to impact us.
We see that you, members of already underrepresented communities at Santa Clara University, have taken up the same burden because you have high standards for our alma mater, you believe in the values of Jesuit education, and because you care about our community.
We are here to say that you should not have to do this alone.
This fight was ours then, it is yours now, and we want to leverage our experience and resources to help end the cycle of oppression.
Santa Clara University is a truly transformational institution. We have learned, however, that the pendulum of transformation can easily swing both ways. Some alumni had amazing experiences at SCU while other alumni had traumatic experiences. Many of us had both. This fact is real.
As a collective group, we all agree that these incidents of hate must stop. We, as alumni, understand the meticulous details of accountability, policies and regulations, educational code, equity and discrimination law, that the university must consider.
We also understand that moments of high controversy demand urgent action and courage to reflect on what is needed for change.
We are today’s professionals who know that Santa Clara University can and must do better. As we reflect on our own undergraduate experiences, we know that building a more inclusive culture is not only the responsibility of students.
The university’s senior leaders must make a paradigm shift that is informed by the student voice. The administration must build a sustainable vision that aligns with the values of Competence, Conscience and Compassion.
Please know that you are already much stronger than you may even think. The work that is already happening on campus, including the current Unity 4 movement and the statement released by the LGBTQ+ community is a testament to that strength. We see you. We stand with you.
This letter has been signed as a statement of support by 136 Santa Clara alumni ranging in graduation years from 1972 to 2015.