Demand Anti-Racist Transformation at Saint Martin's University

Demand Anti-Racist Transformation at Saint Martin's University

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SMU Alumni Action Network started this petition to Saint Martin's University

Demand Anti-Racist Transformation from Saint Martin’s University 

This petition is written by the Saint Martin’s University (SMU) Alumni Action Network. We are a group of concerned SMU Alumni who have come together with the goal to foster/facilitate intentional discussions and organize for lasting institutional change.

Over the last few months, our nation has witnessed multiple counts of injustice, racist violence and systemic oppression, specifically the killings of multiple Black individuals at the hands of law enforcement. During this time, those who live, work and study at SMU have felt the pain, hurt and grief of these circumstances--a pain all too familiar to many across the nation.

As we know from history and recent events within the SMU community, national protests around racial justice often breeds racism and hatred. Racist incidents such as the one involving the Saint Martin’s University soccer player clearly work against the principles of diversity, equity and, Benedictine Values that SMU has been built upon.

Unfortunately, racism at SMU is nothing new. For years, students have shared their experiences with racism, both institutional and interpersonal, and sought relief-but their concerns have largely gone unresolved.

Current SMU students have shared their frustrations and their familiar grief with alumni. They have asked for our help with efforts to restore the harmony on campus, talk about their frustrations and get guidance on how to move forward during this time. Because of this, the SMU Alumni Action Network came together and pledged to demand accountability from SMU. 

It is out of deep love for our alma mater, where we’ve learned lifelong lessons and formed meaningful relationships, that we call for change. We demand intersectional equity. It is out of care and concern that we seek to hold SMU accountable to the Benedictine values that adorn its campus, creating a community rooted in equity, anti-racism and a vision of justice stemming from love. 

The SMU Alumni Action Network is asking for your help. We have created a list of demands for SMU to implement. We ask that you sign our petition to show your support, and to let SMU know that as a current or past student of SMU, as a faculty or staff member, or as a community member, you demand this same accountability. Your signature will help us tell SMU that our community will not continue to tolerate passive and inefficient attempts at change. Please see below for the list of demands we are asking of SMU. 

We thank you for your action.

With respect and optimism,

Saint Martin’s University Alumni Action Network

List of Demands 

1. Commit to signing a contract with the YWCA’s Intercultural Foundation Community Institute. By doing so, Saint Martin’s University will participate in a systemic scan to identify barriers and challenges for students of color and identify instances where Saint Martins’ University perpetuates a racist and inequitable system. 

2. Conduct an evaluation of current systems meant to increase equity, such as the BIRT, Codes of Conduct, and the Office of Student Affairs. 

3. Commit to continuous anti-racist training for members of the Saint Martin’s community who are in positions of power or influence totaling at least 20 hours per year, except for students who must complete 10 hours per year. 

4. Develop a policy and process that commits the university to full transparency as it relates to incidents of misconduct. 

5. Evaluate and assess current teaching content and practices across schools in order to ensure the course content challenges students to think with a social justice lens within their program. 

6. Restructure the Core 100 class to equip first- year Saint Martins’ University students with a foundational understanding of social justice in order to welcome new students into the vibrant intellectual culture of the school. 

7. Release a public statement acknowledging Saint Martin’s University’s lack of resolve when issues of equity have occurred, with the intent of repairing the harm endured by students of marginalized identities as a result of the school’s complacency. 

8. Increase funding, opportunities, and institutional support for campus clubs and organizations focused on diversity and equity. 

9. Create an Equity series style program for INCIPIO that explicitly communicates Saint Martin’s University’s position against racism, our Benedictine values and our commitment to social justice. 

10. Incentivize, through stipend of at least the current minimum wage, the work of students who are asked to invest their time, efforts and energy in increasing the university’s equity and diversity efforts.

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