Luther College Chips

Administration response to hate incidents is not enough

Jorge Contreras Osegueda, Staff Writer

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The only thing that bothers me more than the hateful incidents that happened last week is the administration’s response. I get the sense that they are more interested in keeping a positive reputation by just making it look like everything is fine rather than actually fixing the issues. They call them bias incidents when they are real acts of hate, racism, and discrimination.

We received an email saying that the Luther community rejects such acts, but what are we actually doing to reject them? The individuals who wrote “Whites Only” and “Bad Ya’ll are going to hell” are definitely not going to attend workshops on race and inclusivity. Even some of my friends didn’t know what was going on when I brought up the topic and simply ignored the emails and continued living their busy student lives. There is a need for real consequences.

Back in my previous academic institutions if something like this happened, the head of the school would schedule a compulsory meeting for the entire student body, give a real speech, and then wouldn’t allow anyone to leave until the offender stepped up and admitted their guilt, otherwise all students would get penalized. The offender then would need to apologize and most likely get expelled.

Perhaps we can’t do something like this in a college with a larger community, but we need to be more strict. There are rules that shouldn’t be broken; we are an academic institution. The letter of apology written by the students involved in the “Whites Only” incident seems to me like just another effort of making everything look fine.

Perhaps the letter pleased most of the Luther community, but not us, not the ones who were directly affected by the issue, not my coworker who found the note and felt extremely unsafe and hurt by it. People need to know about the truth regardless of any consequences to reputations. Discrimination acts at Luther aren’t going to be solved by sending emails and hosting voluntary attendance meetings, events, and workshops. I feel disappointed. The administration is doing a poor job at providing a place where everyone can feel safe.

Signed,

Jorge Contreras Osegueda (‘20)

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