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Statement Regarding the Murder of George Floyd

Posted on Monday, June 1, 2020

To: The University of Nevada Students, Faculty, and Staff

Subject: Statement Regarding the Murder of George Floyd

Date: May 31st, 2020

Today, in support of the statement released by various Black leaders on our campus, we write to you with broken hearts and without reservation to stand in solidarity with the Black community. We want to acknowledge that this statement is not to speak for our Black student leaders, but to add a voice of support as we know that if we stay silent during these unacceptable times, we too are contributing to the problem at hand.

In the past week, our country has experienced yet another incident of egregious racial violence. We are enraged by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others. The inadequate response of authorities to bring George Floyd’s murderers, officers of the Minneapolis Police Department, to justice has demonstrated the harsh reality of racism many Black Americans face. This is not an isolated event—African American and Black individuals have continuously been subject to immeasurable amounts of anti-Black hate. This often occurs at the hands of individuals sworn to protect our most vulnerable communities, while their abuse is publicized on news and social media platforms. We stand by the statements made by Jael Kerandi, the President of the University of Minnesota: “The police are murdering Black men with no meaningful repercussions. This is not a problem of some other place or some other time.” Indeed, this problem is embedded within our own community. In Reno alone, police killings of Black men are over ten times that of the 2018 murder rate in this country (Mapping Police Violence).

This injustice is unacceptable, and we demand better of our representatives, just as the student body should demand better of us: their elected and appointed leaders. We, as an association and as individual student leaders, commit to improving the student experience for those who are disproportionately subjected to these instances of hate by engaging with and heeding to the knowledge and experience of our Black peers. We will not continue to be an association of white moderators who live contingently off the bigoted and hostile ideals of their country’s past. As allies, there is always more to learn and more to advocate for. For the students who feel unheard, our apologies go deeper than what can be expressed merely by text.

Given the Association’s history of silence with these issues, we fully acknowledge our insufficiency in supporting Black students and the habitual ignorance of the Association. During this tumultuous time we are faced with the question, “If Black students are speaking, why aren’t we listening?” Now, more than ever, it is our duty to acknowledge the racial injustice prevalent in this community and to listen to those who are directly impacted. Many of us will never experience the fear, pain, or systemic oppression that our Black students, faculty, staff, and community face daily. We can, however, become educated and fight beside you for your right to a quality of life underscored by human dignity. Our hearts are with the victims and families of those who have been directly impacted by these acts of racial violence.

As representatives and students of the University of Nevada, it is our duty to first listen to, then stand with the students who elected us into office and help advocate for change. We must be proactive in our response to fight for the right to an equitable quality of life for all Black Americans. We embrace humility in this endeavor. We cannot erase the pain plaguing our campus community right now, but we can work to learn and to listen. Moving forward, each of us commit to educating ourselves and taking strides to better support and listen to the Black community. Our most sincere apologies go out to all students for lack of past action, responsibility, and education within your Association.


We see you, and we hear you,


Austin Brown – ASUN Vice President

Keegan Murphy – ASUN Speaker of the Senate

Elizabeth Guillen- ASUN Director of Sustainability

Wes Fullmer – Director of Event Programming

Paige Flippin – ASUN Attorney General

Emily Leech – Event Programmer

Ashley Parenti – Event Programmer

Madison Romero – Event Programmer

Maria Zamudio – Event Programmer

Vanessa Komanduri- Event Programmer

Alexa Rangel- Director of Legislative Affairs

Demitri Bannoura – ASUN Chief of Staff

Tara Okui – Assistant Director of Event Programming

Michala Matovina – Assistant Director of Event Programming

Tre Taylor – Club Commissioner

Charles Dunn – Club Commissioner

Nolan Lanza – Director of Clubs and Organizations

Joshua Luers – ASUN Senator (College of Engineering)

Leslie Ramirez – ASUN Senator (College of Business)

Lauren Harvey – Parliamentarian and Senator (College of Liberal Arts)

Edward Stoddard – ASUN Senator (College of Science)

Abrahim Ahmed- ASUN Senator (College of Science)

Parker Samuelson – ASUN Director of Wellness

Sarah Keller – ASUN Senator (College of Education)

Emily McElhoes – ASUN Senator (College of Science)

Matthew Nugent – ASUN Senator (CABNR)

Autumn Kidd – ASUN Senator (College of Community Health Sciences)

Zane Taylor – ASUN Senator (College of Liberal Arts)

Sedrick Abrams -ASUN Senator (College of Community Health Sciences)

Edwin Casildo Rios- ASUN Senator (College of Engineering)

Kate Torres – ASUN Senator (College of Liberal Arts)

Nicolina Priess – ASUN Senator (College of Education)

Vanessa Ribeiro – ASUN Senator (Reynolds School of Journalism)

Victoria Supple- ASUN Senator (College of Liberal Arts)

Ashley Martinez – Department of Legislative Affairs Projects Director

Autena Asefirad—ASUN Commissioner

Abbey Pike – Policy Director of Legislative Affairs

Mattanaporn Chantiyanon – ASUN Senator (College of Community Health Sciences)

Nicolas Marimberga – Assistant Director of Clubs and Organizations

Steffany Yang – ASUN Senator (College of Engineering)

Miranda Bennetts – Commissioner of Social Justice and Policy

Priya Bajwa – Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Geneva Wolfe – Commissioner of Projects and Events

Beau Oster – Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs

Kyla Danielle Kwan – Director of Public and Campus Relations

Conner Doyle – ASUN Senator (College of Liberal Arts)

Kaeli Britt – Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion