AMES, IOWA — Members of the Iowa State and Ames community were present at an important and emotional forum with President Steven Leath, Vice President of Student Affairs Tom Hill, Dean of Students Pamela Anthony and Students Against Bigotry on Wednesday, September 30th in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.
Students Against Bigotry proposed the following actions, which were acknowledged by President Leath and Chief of Police Jerry D. Stewart.
● Multicultural Liaison officer (Much like the LGBTIQA liaison)
● Make sure ISU PD’s presence in Iowa State University is diverse
● Extension of the range of the safety escort/help van
The public event was demanded by multicultural students at Iowa State University after racist incidents that took place outside Jack Trice Stadium on September 12th, 2015 where a group of student protesters were attacked and harassed by GOP supporters.
The following statement from Maria Alcivar from Students Against Bigotry:
“ We wanted a space for President Leath and administration to listen to students of color who, besides the CyHawk tailgate, have been living in Iowa State campus in fear and constant discrimination based on racism and bigotry. I was very happy with the amount of people that showed up. I’m also happy with President Leath’s commitment to action. We will hold him and his administration accountable and we will continue to pressure for action”.
More than 600 students were present at the event, designed to address racism, diversity and inclusion at ISU. After opening remarks from the administrative panel, students on the SAB panel shared narratives about their time on ISU’s campus.
The student panel cited the many instances in which the university has failed to provide adequate support for minority students paired with suggestions for ways in which the administration could reduce the gaps.
Monica Diaz, a Senior in civil engineering from Chicago, was a key activist for this student-led movement. As she shared her narrative, grievances and propositions, she said:
“In an ideal world we would all feel free and empowered to express ourselves and our culture but as we’ve all heard here today, we don’t live in that world. We therefore strongly urge the administration to prioritize the creation of an adequate space wherein which we Latinos, the largest minority on campus, feel comfortable ”.
Students Against Bigotry is dedicated to combating discrimination of this kind on Iowa State’s campus.