In response to the controversial publicity surrounding a Resident Assistant training session entitled “#StopWhitePeople2k16” the Student Association held a meeting with the leaders of Intercultural Awareness Committee member organizations to explore the best course of action for students moving forward as a united front.
On August 21st, 2016, there was an article published by a student run newspaper, grounded on inaccurate assumptions criticizing a one time, optional Resident Assistant workshop. The article subsequently caused a media firestorm surrounding Binghamton University and several threats to the safety of the RA’s who facilitated the training, as well as the larger campus community of color.
While the title of the RA training session, “#StopWhitePeople2k16” may have been offensive to some at face value, that was not the intent of the facilitators of the event. In fact, many of the attendees of the training session praised the facilitators for creating a safe space for RA’s to engage in meaningful conversations addressing the relationship between communities of color and police, privilege, crime and segregation. The session was not mandatory, and the title was intentionally provocative in an effort to catch the attention of other Resident Assistants and draw them into the workshop.
The Student Association stands in full support of the conversation facilitated by the RA’s in the workshop. We believe that it is imperative that students continue freely discussing difficult subjects. The RA’s who created this experience for their peers should not be condemned or criticized, but supported as allies in the process of creating a more inclusive community.
Student safety is a primary concern and responsibility of everyone at Binghamton University. In this instance, these RA’s and students of color who faced threats in backlash, must be protected. Students should report any threats to their safety to UPD (607-777-2222) immediately and let friends and colleagues know that threatening behaviors are not tolerated at Binghamton University.
Moving forward, we must all commit ourselves and our organizations to come together to continue promoting multiculturalism and a constructive, respectful dialogue. Together, as a united community of students, we can combat any bigotry with which we are confronted.
The Student Association at Binghamton University
The Black Student Union
Hillel – Jewish Student Union
Latin American Student Union
Women’s Student Union
Haitian Student Association
Powerful United Ladies Striving to Elevate (P.U.L.S.E)
Men of Color Scholastic Society
Rainbow Pride Union
International Indian Student Union
African Student Organization