No Finals for Black Students at Western

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Over the course of the past few months, we have faced serious challenges that oppose our general way of living. The pandemic has highlighted many key faults in our society and institutions that threaten the survival of vulnerable members of our community.

We write in response to President Randhawa's acknowledgment of the deep and exacerbated inequities that communities of color face in the midst of this pandemic.

He wrote, “I urge every member of our community to consider the ways systems of oppression and violence harm us and others, and to find ways to support and uphold members of our community who are suffering right now.”

The Black community has been disproportionately affected by the global pandemic. With the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, the Black community is faced with increased trauma and violence. These recent events have caused anxiety and fear to resurface amongst Black communities and Black students at Western Washington University.

With members of the Black community dying from COVID-19 at a disproportional and alarming rate, it should not be difficult to recognize the intersection of trauma our Black students are currently facing.

This is a message to call for President Randhawa, Western administrators and faculty: No Black student should fail this quarter as they battle this pandemic and these traumas. Because of that, we are asking Western to suspend final exams, projects and presentations for all Black students in all departments. Focusing on school assignments, quizzes, and exams when one's community, family, and oneself are under attack is unimaginable, yet our Black students are pushed to live through it.

Classes have already been designated as Pass/Fail this quarter, so please recognize that any Black student who does not pass this quarter will be yet another injustice against this community-- a community that has already been harmed so much by Western Washington University and the systems it upholds.  

No Black student should fail this quarter as they battle this pandemic and these traumas. In the words of Desmond Tutu, “If you are neutral in situation of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”


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