President Sarah Bolton issued the following statement March 17 to the Wooster community in response to the racist violence against Asian and Asian-American people in the U.S.
Dear Wooster Community,
I write today about appalling acts of racism and violence against Asian and Asian–American people in the United States. Such racism has long historic precedents, dating back well over a hundred years to the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) and other racist laws, and has persisted in many forms. In the last several years, horrific acts of violence against Asian and Asian-American people have become increasingly frequent, amplified even further by racist responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. And last night, six Asian women were, tragically, killed in Atlanta, Georgia.
The College of Wooster stands firmly against racism in all its forms. Our Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander students, staff and faculty are important members of our community, and have a right to safety, equity and well-being. These concerns are not ones that are only relevant in distant cities. Acts of racism against Asian and Asian-American people take place on our campus as well, and they are completely unacceptable. We need to work together, urgently, to make Wooster a truly welcoming and equitable community, where no one experiences racism or discrimination of any kind.
We will be in touch soon about opportunities for the Wooster community to engage these important issues. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to learn more from sources such as the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism and Stop AAPI Hate. Students, staff and faculty who would like support or a place to talk about any concerns are invited to contact Center for Diversity Equity, and Inclusion Officer Ivonne García or members of the International Student Services Office. To report a bias incident at Wooster contact https://www.wooster.edu/info/get-help/.
People sometimes ask why we make public statements under certain circumstances and not others. Our public statements are generally focused on matters that could affect the safety of our campus directly (such as the attempts at violent electoral disruption that were taking place on January 6, which seemed like they might spread more nationally) or on national policy matters where Wooster’s advocacy might result in policies that better support our students or employees. (An example of this is our advocacy around DACA and policies to support international students.) We also make statements about matters that relate directly to changes we urgently need to make on our own campus—as is the case with addressing racism and advancing equity at Wooster.
My deepest thanks to everyone working to make our community stronger, more welcoming, and more just. I look forward to the progress we will make, together.
With best wishes,