I write today in anticipation of the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. Closing arguments in the case are currently being heard, and then the case will be turned over to the jury for deliberation.
This jury verdict comes in the midst of a seemingly never-ending progression of news involving officer-involved shootings, including the awful deaths of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo. Recent publicity has highlighted the circumstances of their deaths, but tragedies like these occur too often and have received too little attention for too long.
We grieve for those who have been killed as well as for their families and friends. Our sadness also extends to our students, especially those impacted by social injustices. I can and I do promise that NDSU, as an institution, and I, as an individual, will never stop working to make our community more just, diverse and inclusive.
I ask you to join in helping with that cause by supporting one another. I ask you to learn and to grow, and to be a part of working toward making NDSU a place where every person belongs and is valued, as an individual and as part of our campus family.
We do not know when a verdict will be reached in the Chauvin case, but staff will be available on the day the verdict is delivered in the following offices for students who wish to gather, talk, listen and support one another:
Office of Multicultural Programs, Memorial Union 178
Student Activities Office, Memorial Union 120
In addition, please consider participating in any of the three restorative circles being offered by Kristine Paranica, NDSU Ombuds, and Annette Ruiz, NDSU Counseling Center. These sessions allow community members to stop, sit down, and listen to one another as a means to process difficult issues and strengthen communities. All students are welcome and you are encouraged to come as you are.
Sessions will take place on:
Thursday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m. in Arikara Room, Memorial Union
Thursday, April 29 at 5:30 p.m. in Prairie Rose, Memorial Union