Yesterday revealed the ongoing and continuing pain of black students on our campus. By no standards was this the first demonstration of such pain. Under President Veitch’s authority, black students have held town halls, organized for a VP of Diversity, protested countless racial incidents such as the ISIS-Ebola-Malaysian-Airlines Halloween party, and have filed multiple reports through appropriate administrative channels that have gone unanswered. What President Veitch has identified as a memorable day has been and continues to be a process of rage and humiliation on this campus.
If in your eyes this was truly a conversation, President Veitch would not have walked away from students as they spoke on their experiences at Oxy. He was unable to face the realities of campus life. Moreover, his comments do not address structures, are not directed at those that wield power, and do not address those that inflict violence. His comments are aimed at soothing those who grieve.
President Veitch does not need a Chief Diversity Officer to tell him what to do; he has already been given lists of demands. A pledge of commitment means nothing if he cannot recognize the extent to which black students have articulated unmet demands–since 1968.
Veitch has shown for the past 7 years that he is incapable of dealing with any issues concerning the wellbeing of marginalized students. This incapability revealed that Veitch in not able to identify culture at Oxy, let alone change it. In an ideal world, Veitch would have addressed each demand with leadership and conviction, identifying the exact channels and processes necessary to help students and committing to do so. Instead, he has not only failed to guide students in their journey for justice, but has failed to provide a coherent vision of unity amongst the Oxy community.