On Tuesday night, Oct. 31, the Student Senate heard Resolution 001. The first resolution to come out of the Student Services Committee headed by, myself, Pierce Gordon Political Science/Philosophy Senior. The resolution was authored by our three members at the time: Jordan Tarter English Pre-Law, Kyle Hoyle Business and myself.
The resolution was in response to the events of September 29, 2017 and the greater events of racial insecurity on our campus. On that late September night, Flute Performance Major, Broderick McQuarters was awakened at two in the morning and questioned for committing a crime he didn’t commit. The reason that Mr. McQuarters said for the early morning questioning was because of the color of his skin.
However, Mr. McQuarters is not the only point of Resolution 001. This resolution answers a greater problem race relations at Oklahoma City University.
Only two weeks prior to Mr. McQuarters incident, on September 14 the Black Student Association had their posters torn down. They erected new ones, proclaiming they would not be silenced. Then—unfortunately—those were torn down as well. These events were addressed by President Henry; however, dialogue about race relations was never continued.
When the Black Student Associations posters were torn down, someone should have noticed and they should have said something. However, no one did. Instead, student allowed for this to go on. Ultimately, injustice happens when someone sees something and says nothing.
These two events represent a single commanding idea: Oklahoma City University is not a safe place for people of color to be free from discrimination.
During Tuesday night’s Senate Meeting the resolution 001 came to the floor. It resolved that what had happened to Broderick and the Black Student Association was unacceptable, and that as Student Government we condemn those actions. To my surprise the resolution did not pass. Instead, it was tabled for the November 14 Student Senate meeting. Two main problems were expressed by the Senator’s at the meeting: it didn’t do enough, and what happened to Mr. McQuarters wasn’t a problem.
The Senators who believed that resolution 001 doesn’t go far enough and the other students reading this article, I remind you that the Student Services committee is unable to allocate funds. Instead, we are meant to set a course; similar to a ship’s rudder.
Setting a course is what this resolution does. The resolution sets a course for the Student Government to fight discrimination, and to fight for what is right. I challenge the Senators reading this to vote for the resolution, because it’s a step in the right direction. Furthermore, I challenge the students who support this to go to their Senators. Challenge your Senator to represent your support of resolution 001 and vote yes on November 14.
In contrast, if you do not think that the topic in resolution 001 needs to be addressed, please consider abstaining rather than voting against the resolution. This resolution may not affect you, but many are affect by it. They wish to represent something very important to them, and I see no reason to take their cause away.
Finally, reader, I challenge you to do what’s right, and to speak up for the injustices that have been done against these members of our OKCU community. Be the change you want to see in our world.
Senator Pierce Gordon