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New task force aims to combat racism on campus

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Following several acts of racially motivated vandalism, the Student Senate voted unanimously in favor of creating a Task Force for Analysis and Action on Race. According to an email addressed to the student body from the Student Government Association (SGA) President and Vice President Emma Lind ’17 and Sarah Bresnahan ’17, the task force will “work with existing groups and efforts to create a more racially aware and inclusive campus that strives to respect the dignity of all marginalized identities.”

The task force seeks to be a “proactive, instead of reactive, body,” according to an email from its co-chairs, Nouf Al-Masrafi ’19, Eden Fauré ’17 and Marni Kaldjian ’17. Though still in its early stages, students are encouraged to email the task force (tfaar@stolaf.edu) if they are interested in getting involved or are simply seeking more information.

While some students might view the recent acts of vandalism and hate speech as the product of only a handful of students, those on the task force feel differently.

“We felt compelled to start the task force because of rhetoric and practices we were seeing on campus,” Al-Masrafi said. “Oftentimes, when acts of racism happen on campus, these incidents are treated as isolated and the fault of [a] few. However, we believe that acts such as these are the result of larger climates and racism on an institutional level.”

When discussing the task force’s goals and preliminary work, Al-Masrafi emphasized how new the group is.

“We are in the very early stages of this task force and are still in the process of forming our goals and objectives,” she explained. “Before the action part can take place, we need to do a lot of thoughtful and active listening to those around us.”

judgebec@stolaf.edu