Contact: Sid Salter
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum responded to today’s jury verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin:
“As our university family processes the events in Minnesota, I challenge all of us to hold fast to MSU’s values of diversity, inclusion, and respect for others and to strive together to assure that these values do not waver or change. In the wake of the verdict, I hope all in our university family will reflect on this in a thoughtful and peaceful manner. This is a time for the MSU family to unite and come together to share empathy and comfort as we move forward together.
“The death of George Floyd demanded justice. Police have a fundamental duty to protect and safeguard the rights of all citizens. As I said a year ago, racism is evil. It is a sin. We must replace this evil with good. Our task, I believe, is to ensure to the best of our abilities that we have far more good than evil in the hopes that good will drown out evil.
“That’s my hope and prayer for Mississippi State University. There is much good on our campus. I see it every day.
“We have students from every state in the nation. We have students from countries around the world.
“We have students from every race, of many different languages, and of many different religions. But we all come together here as Bulldogs, and our diversity empowers our campus and our larger community in a very special way.
“Few struggle more deeply with these burdens than young Americans preparing themselves to be tomorrow’s leaders. The debate of these matters of vital national importance can and should continue on our campus among people of good will—in groups large and small, among our faculty and students, and in private conversations. Learning to peacefully discuss difficult topics is a necessary part of the university experience.
“Discussing difficult subjects in an arena of mutual respect with an eye toward seeking constructive solutions and fostering an environment that truly values differences is also a bedrock goal of higher education. Let us continue to work to build that environment and hold those discussions as friends, colleagues, and a university family,” Keenum said.
For information and support for coping and developing self-care strategies, please utilize the following resources:
- Virtual walk-in sessions with Student Counseling Services. Open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information go to www.counseling.msstate.edu.
- Affinity based support and community, please contact the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center at (662) 325-2033 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Any interventions for personal and academic support, please contact the Dean of Students Office at (662) 325-3611 or email@example.com.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.