College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu shared the following message with the CofC community on Friday, April 16, 2021:
Dear Campus Community,
I know many of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners have been following closely the trial of Derek Chauvin, the accused killer of George Floyd. I also know that this trial – and the many headlines it churns out – can be very traumatic and serve as a trigger for some, bringing back or creating much anxiety and pain.
Last summer, the leadership at the College of Charleston made a statement of solidarity. It was and it still is sad that it took the tragic death of a Black man in such a public manner to elicit such a response – not only from us, but from so many others across the country.
We must go beyond statements. Words, of course, matter, but action must follow. I am proud of our campus – from the leadership to the students – for the many different diversity-related initiatives that are being undertaken as well as the work of diversity being woven into everything we do.
Yes, I am hopeful that through tragedy we can and we will find a better path forward – a shared path that is more inclusive and more welcoming to all.
At this time, I encourage everyone to look inward and then also look outward and act with empathy to those around us on campus. We must show real care to one another. Let us listen – truly listen to each other, especially those who may be suffering the most. Let us prove that our solidarity is not a fleeting moment of heightened emotion, but a true campus value that exists every day in every season.
In all honesty, we cannot control what is happening somewhere else, but we, as a campus community, can influence what is happening here – right here and right now. We can choose to come together, to lend a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to cry on and to be there for one another when it matters most.
That is our College of Charleston community. That is who we need to be and that is who we will be.
Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D.
College of Charleston