This past week, following the presidential election, a surge in hate-based crimes and intimidation tactics against people of color, women, Muslims, immigrants, and LGBTQIA+ individuals have plagued the nation following President-elect Donald Trump’s clinching of the presidential nomination. These discriminatory actions have impacted communities across the United States in a number of ways. We at the Phoenix are shocked and disappointed by the fact that these acts of violence are increasing in frequency, and we are particularly disheartened to hear of incidents of hate occurring so near to our campus.
In light of these events, we applaud members of the Swarthmore community who are choosing to be civically engaged. We support students that are choosing to have their voices heard in the face of adversity and students that choose to take action rather than act as passive bystanders in the wake of drastic political change.
According to an article written by Caroline Simon and Will Snow of the Daily Pennsylvanian, a daily college newspaper at the University of Pennsylvania, a group of black freshmen found themselves added against their will to a GroupMe labeled “Mud Men,” rife with racially and sexually explicit messages last week. The university notified all UPenn undergraduates via email of the incident on Saturday morning, and said that a student at the University of Oklahoma would be temporarily suspended in connection to the messages.
The Phoenix is disappointed to read how much pain this event has brought upon the community at UPenn, and it extends its embrace in support of members of the community that is the UPenn campus at large. We stand in solidarity with the students of the UPenn, as well as the Daily Pennsylvanian. We want the student body of UPenn to know that members of the Phoenix will support those affected by injustices in whatever ways the UPenn community deems fit and necessary. If UPenn students need someone to talk to or someone to listen to their voices, know that the staff of the Phoenix will heed their call.
The Phoenix recognizes that the culture of higher education institutions may often take on characteristics of being unsafe and inhospitable places. The Phoenix recognizes that it is vital for an institution of higher education to be safe, welcoming, and interested in activating the potential of all students. We hope schools throughout the greater Philadelphia area will work toward fostering a culture that values the security, wellness, and identity of all students, as we know students thrive best when these demands are met.