SGO Issues a ‘Call To Action’

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Dear Swarthmore,

As a body responsible for representing students, Swarthmore SGO would like to issue a call to social and political action in response to hatred, bigotry, and violence, on campus and on a broader national scale.  Recent events, including Monday’s swastika vandalism, have intensified violence towards historically oppressed populations.  We believe in the right to resist for those facing oppression and violence.  We consider support for this struggle a duty of the Swarthmore community.  SGO supports our student body in taking meaningful action to resist violence and oppression.

In the coming months, as we experience a great degree of political energy and organizing on campus, we call on ourselves, as a student body and community, to reflect on Swarthmore’s role, as well as our individual roles, in mobilizing and allocating our resources towards the betterment of our world.

During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, another period of great division throughout the United States, Swarthmore students mobilized and advocated for the rights of minorities in the spirit of social justice and equity, values on which this institution stands.  We see parallels between then and now and we ask our community to once again consider and act on the values we stand for, to draw from the ideals of alumni who fought for these values, and to engage in activism.  And as Student Government stood in solidarity with student activists on campus throughout our past, we pledge to partner with and support civic engagement on campus now and in the future.

We want to recognize and support those who have been engaging in social justice work on campus and outside of Swarthmore, who will continue to organize for their communities in the coming years.  We will act as allied partners in their struggle for liberation and equality.  This means that Student Government will use its access and allocate our economic, physical, intellectual and symbolic resources in order to support students organizing on campus, in local communities and on the national stage.

We have compiled a Political Action Resource Guide, where you may find organizations that are mobilized on a local and national scale; you may also find upcoming events and other ways to get politically active.  This resource guide is a work in progress, so please feel free to suggest additions.

At Swarthmore, now more than ever, we must continue to create spaces for mourning and healing, and love one another.  In times like these, we–SGO, the student body, and Swarthmore as an institution–cannot be silent.  We must resist and engage in active solidarity to the best of our abilities and for our entire community.  We must continue to stand with those who are struggling to survive and thrive.  We must ask ourselves how we can do better.  Let’s continue our work.

In solidarity,

Swarthmore Student Government Organization

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