At its February 8th meeting, the Student Government Assembly (made up of the College and Graduate Councils) voted to sign on to an open letter distributed by the Muslim Students Association, the Organization of Black Students, and Students for Justice in Palestine. Below is a statement from the Executive Slate of Student Government.
February 9, 2016
Yesterday, the Student Government (SG) Assembly voted to sign on to an open letter distributed by the Muslim Students Association, the Organization of Black Students, and Students for Justice in Palestine. While it was not a unanimous decision, the reservations expressed by representatives in the room more specifically concerned the wording of the demands, rather than its overall intent or content.
After previous events of racism and Islamophobia on campus, the University's most substantive response was the announcement of a "campus climate survey" on diversity and inclusion on campus. The survey was proposed in December 2014 but has yet to have begun, and since its announcement it has been pushed back at least twice. Students want the University to act on these issues beyond just announcing a survey, and -- particularly amidst its $4.5 billion capital campaign -- they want the University to invest more in resources that will create the kind of community UChicago students, faculty, and staff deserve; namely, one without discrimination. This requires, among other actions, clarification of the University’s policy in regard to Greek organizations as well as an appropriate response to other relevant student demands including the institution of a living wage for all University employees (student and non-student).
The University of Chicago Student Government stands in solidarity with the Students for Justice in Palestine, the Organization of Black Students, the Muslim Students Association, and with all affected students beyond the document's authorship. It is our stance that the University has a responsibility to clarify its relationship to its Greek life organizations on and around campus, and to establish and enforce guidelines that will hold groups accountable for the racist, misogynistic, and Islamophobic actions exhibited by its members.
Tyler Kissinger, President
Alex Jung, Vice President for Administration
Kenzo Esquivel, Vice President for Student Affairs