A Message from President Denise M. Trauth
April 19, 2021
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
Many people in our Texas State University community and across the country are experiencing strong emotions while we wait for the outcome in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with killing George Floyd. George Floyd’s death in May 2020 was one of the tragic catalysts that brought about historic mass protests, marches, and passionate pleas for justice across the United States.
The intensity of polarization in our nation, the lived experiences of people of color, and a national reckoning of social and racial inequality have deeply impacted members of the Bobcat family and our fellow Americans. As the trial moves toward a conclusion, there are actions we can take to prepare ourselves as a community, to grow as individuals, and to support one another.
UPHOLD TEXAS STATE VALUES: To live by Texas State values means to respect others’ perspectives and experiences and treat one another with compassion and dignity. We need those shared values more than ever in the face of challenges and uncertainty.
REJECT HATE & BIGOTRY: Let me be clear about where Texas State stands. As I have said in the past, messages of hate, bigotry, and white supremacy have no place here. If you find hateful propaganda or experience other incidences of bias on our campuses, report it to the Bring It Up Bobcats Bias Response System.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS & THE RULES: Texas State is a place where we have conversations that invite uncomfortable and courageous dialogue. Our community understands the importance and necessity of upholding the First Amendment. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with our FAQs about Free Speech to better understand your rights, the rights of others, and our shared responsibilities.
PROTECT YOURSELF & OTHERS: If you choose to gather to peacefully demonstrate, stay vigilant about following COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines. Practice social distancing and wear a face covering. Also, follow the guidelines in place for peaceful Demonstrations on University Property.
PARTICIPATE IN SOLIDARITY, HEALING, & EDUCATIONAL EVENTS: Events are being planned to support our students, faculty, and staff and provide an opportunity for community conversations, comfort, healing, and dialogue surrounding the Derek Chauvin trial. You will receive more information via email about these events from me at a later time.
After the year we have faced together -- from the COVID-19 pandemic, to the ensuing financial crisis, to record-breaking Black Lives Matter protests last summer, to an immigration crisis, to a tumultuous presidential election -- I have seen our community make wise, conscientious, and powerful choices for the good of all. Our students assembled for peaceful demonstrations, took to the voting polls in record-breaking numbers, and led grassroots efforts that have made Texas State and our larger community a more just and socially aware place. Our faculty and staff continue to leverage the breadth and depth of their expertise in issues related to social justice and the experiences of oppressed and marginalized people.
Thank you for the many ways you show one another compassion and respect. I implore you to keep it up -- for that work is never done. I am here, along with my Cabinet and countless other university leaders, to support you.
Denise M. Trauth