Statement of Support for Protests Against Racism
From Dawn M. Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students
June 3, 2020
Dear SMC students,
The many historic injustices of our country once again have a public face. Let us not think that these injustices only occur when a cell phone is present to film. Every day, our colleagues and students of color live in a world where they are either not noticed or mistreated to a point where they don’t feel safe.
The idea that any student on this campus would ever feel unsafe is devastating to me. It runs counter to who we profess to be as a community. There is racism in society and on our campus – that must be named. It is on all of our televisions now, but I have heard its impact firsthand in the voices of our students. It is incumbent on us to work every day to change the structures that allow it to persist.
We shared experiences last year with speakers, books, and events to help our community see how we fail one another, learn to do better, and understand what the world needs from us. As a community, we will continue to act in the year ahead to keep the realities of racism in the forefront of our learning and support of one another.
With this statement is the commitment to work towards continuing campus improvement. In concert with the staff and faculty members of the Diversity and Inclusion Council and the Office of the President, we will offer staff and faculty the opportunity to continue to work on doing better for our students and our colleagues in the classroom and outside of the classroom through reading and discussion groups this summer.
Even though we are not on campus together, we are always “on call” for you when you need us. Please reach out if you need support at 802-654-2000 and ask for the Dean on Call. Additionally, I have connected with Margaret Bass, our interim director of CMAS, and we will be planning opportunities over the summer to come together virtually to support and connect with one another. Margaret will be sending dates and times of these opportunities to you soon.
Be safe, be well,
Dawn M. Ellinwood, Ed.D.|she, her, hers: pronouns
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students
Saint Michael's College Athletics Statement of Solidarity
As brutal examples of racial injustice and responding widespread protests continue to surface across our country, Saint Michael’s College Athletics stands in solidarity, joining the sea of grieving voices denouncing racism and intolerance. The video of the horrific killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis was the match that ignited a bonfire built up by countless incidences of racial cruelty and tragic losses of life.
We are a College founded over a century ago by the Society of Saint Edmund – a community of Catholic priests and brothers dedicated to “serve where the need is greatest.” The Edmundites identify Social Justice as a core ministry, and provided courageous and influential support of the Civil Rights Movement in the Deep South over 50 years ago. The Edmundite Missions, based in Selma, Alabama, continues its life-sustaining work as it has for the past 83 years. As Purple Knights, it’s inherent in us to commit to the tenets of racial equality and social justice. It’s in our blood.
There are many who are posting inspirational statements of outrage, pledges of support, and calls for change. But in order to truly be an effective ally in this struggle, one needs to remember another Edmundite core ministry: Education. We need to listen and we need to learn. Through increased education and understanding we can best effect change and work toward the ideals of inclusion and equality.
Our student-athletes and staff hope the resources found below will serve as a catalyst for thought, discussion, understanding and action. Racism has no place in this world, and we have a responsibility to make change happen. Individually and as One Team, we have the power to make a real difference in the fight against racial injustice.