Being a Residential Assistant (RA) or a Peer Mentor (PM) at UMass Amherst is a true honor. In our roles as the Residential Life staff who support students living on campus, we have built meaningful relationships with dozens of residents and have fostered various living-learning communities. Thanks to our status as unionized workers, we are able to collectively bargain for dignified working conditions and wages.
On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, “Re-imagining Public Safety,” a zoom meeting hosted by several UMass Amherst student organizations, provided participants with an insight on their current goals of police abolition within the UMass community.
Recently, Victor Woolridge, a member and former Chair of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees, wrote an article calling upon America to acknowledge its history of anti-black racism and take concrete steps to achieve racial justice. We, a group of UMass students advocating for racial justice, wish to comment on Woolridge’s message. One of the few Black members of the Board of Trustees, Woolridge is, to our knowledge, the only member of the Board to publicly write about the need for systemic change following the death of George Floyd. Overall, we commend Trustee Woolridge for acknowledging the need for systemic change for racial justice–yet, that he is the only member of UMass’ Board of Trustees to publicly do so indicates that the UMass system itself has much work to do.
After a series of vague emails and unclear decisions from the UMass administration these past two weeks, thousands of students have voiced their anger for the university’s decisions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ubuntu means “I am because we are.” As black history month comes to a close, Black student organizations had many events on this campus that embodied Ubuntu community elements and showcased what black excellence looks like. With that said, I decided to find some of these fantastic people on this campus to ask them an important question: What does black excellence mean to you?