Kyle Rittenhouse Decision - Resources Available

To: Gonzaga Students
Copy: Faculty, Staff and Families
From: Robin Kelley, Ph.D., Chief Diversity Officer Kent Porterfield, Ed.D., Vice Provost for Student Affairs
RE: Kyle Rittenhouse Decision - Resources Available
Date: November 22, 2021

On Friday, November 19, the jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse case delivered a not guilty verdict on all charges. This decision carries with it much weight and gravity, especially in this very polarized political and social landscape in which our nation finds itself. We know this case and its outcome, like so many others over the last several months, have evoked strong feelings and emotions for students and other members of our Gonzaga community. We have heard directly from some of you about your concerns.  Similarly, the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial in Georgia may present yet another case that impacts members of our community. During these difficult moments, feelings of safety, welcomeness, and belonging cannot be taken for granted. Recognizing that some of you may be feeling personal distress and vulnerability, we wanted to take a moment to remind you of multiple campus resources available to you should you need support during this time:

It is our shared mission at Gonzaga to foster a community that strives for justice, human dignity, and doing for the common good.  Recently, it has been brought to our attention that comments on social media, and specifically on an app called Yik Yak, have taken an ugly tone. Hateful comments run absolutely counter to our values at Gonzaga. It is our hope that all of us in the GU community can come together in solidarity with a shared commitment to human dignity and respect. When conversations occur, we encourage that they take place in respectful and caring ways, inside and outside of academic settings and on social media platforms, assuming good intentions and understanding the impact of our words and deeds. Let’s keep communication lines open to ensure that both the emotional and physical safety of every member of our community is met. Let’s listen to each other and value each other’s lived experiences and perspectives. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to ask for it. You matter and we care.