May 29, 2020
University statement on social injustice
*The following statement was issued by President Myers on Friday, May 29.
Dear K-State Family,
As we work to reawaken our university community from our COVID-19 isolation, we also must contend with social injustice issues plaguing our country. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, around the country, we witnessed acts of prejudice toward those from China and other Asian countries. Now, we are witnessing protests over the killing of black and Latino individuals by law enforcement officers. This is clearly no time to be silent on issues of social justice.
A number of K-State faculty and staff have meaningfully engaged the Kansas higher education community in dialogue on these matters. We believe, unapologetically, that there is nothing to debate. Social injustice is alive and well and more often than not, finds its way to the doorsteps and lives of individuals in the most marginalized communities.
We recognize these acts of injustice may not have taken place on our campuses or in our communities, but they can still have a profound impact on our community members. Our students, faculty, staff and administrators are affected by these acts of injustice. In some cases, members of our community may think this could happen to them, their family members or their friends.
The Kansas State University Police Department is dedicated to our community and strives to earn our confidence and respect. We know this respect is hard-won and can be easily lost — it only takes one incident to erase years of goodwill. Our officers are highly professional and well trained in how to interact with our community members. We have confidence they endeavor to uphold our community values. In this time of strife, they also deserve our continued respect and support.
At Kansas State University, we affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person and strive to maintain an atmosphere of justice based on respect for each other. We understand the impact these acts of social injustice have on marginalized communities and their allies. We stand with you and we ask our community members to demonstrate the empathy, sympathy and social responsibility that reflects the same accountability we expect of those entrusted to protect and serve.
Those who have been impacted by recent events are encouraged to contact Student Life or Counseling Services by calling 785-532-6927.
Social injustice has always been with us, but we must stand up for what's right and support those who feel threatened or marginalized.
Richard B. Myers