Response to Frank Hale Black Cultural Center Vandalism at The Ohio State University

We are attempting to build a dialogue on the campus of The Ohio State University in a response to racially motivated issues that have emerged on our campus.  We want our University to become a space that includes all members of its student body regardless of race, gender, sexuality, religion, and/or sexual identity. Please support our efforts to build a campus of allies that stands up for EVERYONEs rights.  We need more than tolerance.  We will not be intimidated by these intentional and very regular acts of violence against many of us on this campus.



Hate crime alerts

We demand the university establish and implement institutionalized hate crime alerts to raise awareness and discourage future bigoted incidents. In its efforts to protect the student body at OSU, the administration should be as concerned about racially motivated hate crimes as they are about all forms of crime.

 Increased diversity, both at the student and faculty level

a.     The university claims that diversity is among its core values. We agree. Everyone in the university community benefits when we exist in a diverse learning environment. Currently, Black faculty comprise less than 3% of the overall faculty at OSU, and the numbers of Black undergraduates at OSU’s main campus have been steadily declining over the last several years. 

b.     If it is true that the university values diversity, then it should demonstrate its commitment by actively recruiting students, faculty, and staff that represent the face of America. Therefore, we demand that the university administration commit itself to the goal of having OSU become proportionally representative of the racial and ethnic national composition.

Inclusion, not just tolerance 

We demand dignity, respect, and recognition for all people: for the students, the faculty, and the staff.
 b.     We are engaging in ongoing dialogue about ways in which the university can create a more inclusive community. This is obviously is complex issue, and it will take time for us to reach definitive solutions to this challenging problem. However we hope that the university administration will keep their doors open to us and actively participate in these conversations with us as we move forward together to create, in the words of our illustrious president, ONE UNIVERSITY

Student and Faculty Response to Hale Center Vandalism 

On last night, April 4, 2012, the 44th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s death, students and concerned individuals from the wider community gathered peacefully for a vigil to reflect on the recent racialized hatred and terror that has captivated our nation’s attention. In particular, people assembled to remember Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi, who both lost their lives due to senseless violence that should not be tolerated in an enlightened society (Martin was shot to death by George Zimmerman while visiting his father; Alawadi was killed inside her own home by an unidentified group that left a message promoting racial prejudice against Muslim Americans). Thus, the goal of the event was not only to pray for our nation at this critical time, in consideration of these incidents, but also to examine how we all could promote better understanding between diverse communities.

Yet, as these groups convened on campus to ponder these issues that have animated the national spotlight, various HATE advocates were ostensibly organizing to make these contemporary racialized improprieties more palpable for our local community here at The Ohio State University. Some of these individuals came to the vigil with the sole intent to terrify those persons who had congregated to calmly respond to racial injustice. If this intimidation was not sufficient, other persons came and left a permanent marker signifying their racial intolerance. The Frank W. Hale Center, long a safe space for students of color to come together, was defaced with the words, “LONG LIVE ZIMMERMAN!”

These words are troubling. The vandalism is unsettling. The racism behind these words, however, is even more disturbing. These egregious episodes should not be accepted at an institution of higher learning such as The Ohio State University, and represent a type of thinking that permits racism to persist in our communities.

We, the faculty and students of The Ohio State University, vigorously denounce this racist act and want to make clear that HATRED WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. The members of this campus, and people throughout the city of Columbus, will neither be intimidated by this incident nor pressured to abandon our support of those causes aimed at promoting racial equality, justice, peace, and understanding. We shall remain vigilant in the pursuit of impartiality and call on the ENTIRE Buckeye community—administration, faculty and staff, students, and the school’s broader group of supporters—to join with us.

We appreciate President Gordon Gee’s response to the vandalism that took place and his willingness to utilize institutional resources for the purposes of investigating this incident. But we see this incident in a larger context of hatred, and feel that this racial prejudice must be vehemently condemned and that every effort must be made to extinguish these deplorable acts from taking place on our campus. In the coming days, we will be meeting to discuss how we as a community can address these issues and move forward.

On behalf of concerned faculty and students at The Ohio State University,

Thomas Albright, M.A. Student

Leslie M. Alexander, Ph.D.

Curtis Austin, Ph.D.

Tamara Butler, Ph.D. Candidate

Camille Dantzler, M.A. Student

Rashida Davison, Undergraduate

Lilia Fernandez, Ph.D.

Liseli Fitzpatrick, M.A. Student

T. Anthony Gass, Ph.D. Candidate

Gisell Jeter, Ph.D. Candidate

Thomas Lee

Michael Marsh, Undergraduate

Dawn Miles, Ph.D. Candidate

Tyran Steward, Ph.D. Candidate

Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Ph.D.

















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