Univ. of Iowa student gov't announces support for Black Lives Matter

The University of Iowa Student Government sent out a mass email on Thursday that announced their support for the protest group Black Lives Matter.

The email, sent out by the Student Government and Graduates and Professional Student Government, was in response to the events at Mizzou and other campuses.

The email reads, “The University of Iowa Student Government and Graduate and Professional Student Government are concerned about the events unfolding on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. As representatives of the University of Iowa students, we stand by #ConcernedStudent1950, Black Lives Matter, Missouri Student Association, and additional advocates as they work for change on their campus.”

The email continues, “we recognize there is much to be accomplished on our own campus and in our community. As we strive to make the University of Iowa safer and more inclusive, we remain dedicated to advocate for all students, especially those who face systemic oppression in our community. We are working to engage administration, community members, student organizations, and allies to find solutions to issues we are facing on campus. We urge students to continue engaging in discourse on racism, diversity, and inclusion on our campus. We will be sharing information about upcoming events on social media as they are organized for our campus and our community.”

Elizabeth Mills, the UISG President, and Joshua Shoenfeld, the GPSG president, both signed the email. The statement was also posted on the UI Student Government Facebook page and on the University of Iowa website.

While many schools have announced their support for Mizzou, University of Iowa’s Student Government is the first to outright endorse Black Lives Matter. In the statement, UISG claims to advocate for all students, however, some students at the school do not support support Black Lives Matter.

“I think it is a great thing that the University of Iowa wants to help make minorities and international students feel more integrated into our campus by endorsing an organization that encourages inclusiveness,” Alexa Den Hearder, Vice Chair for UI College Republicans, told Campus Reform. “However, the endorsement of Black Lives Matter (BLM) as a University does not reflect the opinion of students as a whole.”

Den Hearder went on to express that the UISG is not representative of the whole student body with this endorsement.

“There was no open debate, no survey, and no university wide forum on the endorsement of the organization. The UISG has done an injustice to those students who want an open debate on what the University decides to endorse and represent as a whole. For those students who believe that BLM often takes a violent and unruly approach to their cause, the university’s endorsement may cause discomfort.”

The UI Student Government did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ChrisNuelle