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SWOSU President Randy Beutler’s Statement on George Floyd’s Death, Equality & Justice

Students, Faculty, Staff & Administrators,

In response to the recent, brutal death of George Floyd, I want to reach out to the SWOSU community to express anguish over his passing and resolve that we all work for a better world that realizes its faults and is committed to correcting them.  We all grieve when there is injustice.  We all are deeply saddened when people are diminished due to their race, religion, gender or status in life.  We all have a duty to right wrongs and support our fellow human beings.  We all want and demand justice for oppression.  We all will find the resolve to make a better place for each of us and reiterate the testament that we are our brother’s and sister’s keeper.

The death of Mr. Floyd and others must prompt us to contemplate how racism affects many lives in this community, state and country.  Being a history instructor, I am well-aware of the history of exclusion, discrimination and depredations that have and are occurring in our nation.  However, I would be naïve to think, for even one moment, that I fully understand what it feels like to experience these types of devastating actions. 

Therefore, it is incumbent on the SWOSU community to renew our efforts of compassion and diversity by being fully supportive and inclusive in our programs and in our actions.  Our own Values Statement states that we are guided by a shared commitment to respect, “by fostering a safe, healthy and diverse intellectual, cultural and social environment that encourages emotional well-being.”

We at SWOSU are a community of diversity that includes many races, ethnicities, religious affiliations, gender identities, sexual orientations and physical abilities.  It is time for us to reflect on and reinforce the basic values that make us a part of a proud, diversified community.  We should always work to instill those core values of kindness, respect and accountability in our campus community. 

As President John F. Kennedy once said, “…in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

I wish all of you well in these trying times and together, as a part of the SWOSU community, we will strive for a better world for everyone.

Sincerely,

Randy L. Beutler, SWOSU President