October 1, 2020
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Letter to the Editor: Alumni stand with Black Lives Matter movement

To the College’s students, staff, faculty and administration:

Black Lives Matter. We see you and we stand with you. We stand united as alumni of the College of New Jersey that Black Lives Matter, and that we need to enact change to end white supremacy. This is a call from your alumni to do more. This is a call for action by the administration in shaping this school. This is a call for transparency. 

According to The College of New Jersey’s mission statement, “The College empowers its diverse students, staff and faculty to sustain and enhance their communities both locally and globally.” The College is built and raised by its surrounding communities, those that are protesting and working toward a revolution. The College, formerly known as Trenton State, was built upon the Black city of Trenton, and uses the city’s resources daily. Now, in a time where the College can give back, they remain silent, giving a generic statement instead. However, the College has remained diligent in their weekly “corona-missives,” providing detailed plans of meetings despite the unknown of the pandemic for next semester and outlining financials of the College to their students. The College provides links to their own resources and, at times, jokes about their lack of a plan. Yet no words with action and sincerity come from the administration when the lives of Black students continue to be at risk daily for brutal murder due to police brutality. This is a call for transparency — something students have been looking for for more than a year, when College President Foster was repeatedly questioned for her lack of transparency about prior positions she has held. 

Not included in the statement: any resources, including an event scheduled through the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (OIDEI) for that very evening. The OIDEI Instagram posted, but only to discuss the Tulsa Massacre and say that we need to do more, but not sharing what can be done. The senseless murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others at the hands of white supremacy and police brutality is unacceptable. The College claims to sustain and enhance their communities, but fails to put their thoughts in action. As a result, students from the College do not have the resources needed to help them take action. 

As students, we saw how the College tried to raise awareness through education and action, such as through the ‘I Am TCNJ’ Panel in November 2018. This led to the creation of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, as well as a Bias Response Team. We were proud of our institution then, proud of the place we called home, as they showed they were dedicated to making real change and providing a safer campus for Black students. But these additions often fell short, racial incidents continuing to cover the campus, and were quick to be swept under the rug

As alumni of a predominantly white institution, we need more. The College is failing to educate its students, many of whom have the privilege to turn away from the daily fear many Black people in their school and community face. Black Lives Matter. This is an indisputable fact. We have always been proud of our alma mater, but now is the time to step up and show who the College is. 

For the current students, here’s how you can get involved: 

  1. Protests. There are protests happening all over. Use social media, find one and mobilize. Here is a helpful guide of how to stay safe
  2. Educate. Have the tough conversations with friends, family, loved ones — anyone who is continuing to perpetrate white supremacy and, as a result, injustice. Here’s a link to jumpstart discussions of white privilege. Here is a link to help educate on why looting is an appropriate response. Mention the Boston Tea Party and the Sons of Liberty — these are the same ideals.
  3. Donate. There are countless bail funds, organizations and even ways to donate to without spending money through adsense on YouTube. 
  4. Sign Petitions. Here’s a list of just some of the many needed. 
  5. Reach out to government officials. Demand Derek Chauvin’s three accomplices be arrested and charged. Demand more. Here’s a place to start.
  6. Vote. Vote out racists. Make your voice heard. Make sure you’re registered here and if not, register to vote now. 

The College has always been a home, and has always been dedicated to change. We want to see the change it’s making. Black Lives Matter. 

Co-signed, 

Sophia Bedore, ’19
Amanda Mrotzek, ’20 
Stephen Huber, ’20 
Katherine Reese, ’19
Justine Wilson, ’19
London Morse, ’20
Claire Ehret, ’20
Katharine Smith, ’19
Genevieve Duran, ’20
Lauren Broadwell, ’20 
Frank DiNozzi, ’20
Kelsey Collins, ’17
Baldween Casseus, ’18
Abigail Rizzo, ’19 
Samantha Chang, ’18
Allison Smith, ’19 
Rachel Smith, ’20
Cassidy Peters, ’20
Kelly Flood, ’20
Abigail Moor, ’19
Justine Thomas, ’17
Kenneth Abes, ’16
Rhiannon Picioccio, ’17
Maria Christodoulou, ’19
Aditi Mahapatra, ’17
Kevin Hurler, ’18
Isabelle Tan, ’17
Soniya Reddy, ’18 
Kaitlyn Dickson, ’17 
Andrew Trippiedi, ’18
Tiffany Youssef, ’18
Sarah Reynolds, ’18 
Dale Oommen, ’20
Daniel Levine, ’18
Megan Sheehan, ’16 
Tyler K. Hubbert, ’19
Madison Nicieza, ’20 
Justin Huebner, ’20
Michelle Silvestri, ’19 
Lindsey Harris, ’20 
Edward Melvin, ’19 
Terance Schuh, ’19 
Meagan McDowell, ’20
Bryan Miner, ’19 
DiAnna Sela, ’19 
Karlie Lombardi, ’20
Molly O’Brien, ’14 
Shannon Springstead, ’20 
Caitlyn McGrath, ’17
Alessandra Testa, ’17
Moriah Herniter, ’20
Ralph Betancourt, ’20
Julia Fackelman, ’18 
Emily Varga, ’20 
Dennis Vodarsky, ’19
Martín Crosby-Arreaza, ’16
Celine Mileham, ’19
Angelica Rocco, ’20 
Quentin Olivacce, ’20
Martine McGrath, ’10 
Shannon Picklo, ’20 
Tess Dooley, ’19
Bailey McLavish, ’19
Shaun Meyers, ’20 
Ian Reed, ’19
Danny Leonhardt, ’17
Surbhi Chawla, ’19
Joshuah Carlani, ’19
Carlie Caruso, ’19 
Shaziya Ahmed, ’18
Kelly Saldarriaga, ’19
Charlie Spirgel, ’18
Emily George, ’20
Niha Mamillapalli, ’19
Shrey Patel, ’19
Bhakti Moradia, ’18
Rishi Singhal, ’18 
Nitya Dhanaraj, ’19 
Sanjana Saksena, ’19 

1 Comment on Letter to the Editor: Alumni stand with Black Lives Matter movement

  1. Hello Alumni
    What happened to “due process”? Didn’t you learn about that in your government relations classes? Why all the virtue signaling? Very disappointed in TCNJ and its alums. Sad.

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