Student Government Association discusses response to faculty chair’s memo

by Chris Van Buskirk / Beacon Correspondent • November 2, 2017

The Student Government Association discussed the recent memo by Faculty Assembly Chair Anthony Lowrie at their Tuesday meeting. They resolved to respond to the memo in a way that will be heard by the Emerson community.

Multiple members said they were unsurprised by Lowrie’s accusations. The memo addressed the Oct. 24 protest in which students disrupted a faculty assembly to protest racism on campus.

Chala Tshitundu, SGA’s intercultural commissioner, said there should be a middle ground. Either SGA takes the proper channels and gets ignored, or protests and is ignored and called abrasive. This is something people of color see frequently when trying to enact change—not being heard on any side of the spectrum, Tshitundu said.

SGA’s executive board posted a brief statement on Facebook saying students protesters are not conducting a “witch hunt,” citing language Lowrie used in the memo. While the Facebook response did address the memo, SGA President Annie Makielski said representatives will work on a formal letter to the Emerson community.

“I don’t think the intention is to directly call [Lowrie] out. I think that might be a little counterproductive,” Makielski said.

Chris Henderson-West, class of 2020 president and one of the main speakers at the protest, described Lowrie’s memo as cowardly. He said it misses the point of the protest—forcing students to fight for their validity. West said he believed that Lowrie’s claims that there may have been someone pushing students to exaggerate their experiences, were strange and unfounded.

“Being told we don't have proof of our experiences and discriminations on a day-to-day basis is just fundamentally wrong, stupid, and ignorant,” West said.