UNL Chancellor responds to Black Lives Matter Rally

Posted By: Veronica Ortega

vortega@klkntv.com

In November, the UNL community rallied to address issues of racism on campus like similar movements in other parts of the country. About three months later Chancellor Harvey Perlman has finally released a response. 

"While I am committed to continuing our progress, I am under no illusion that change will be rapid or complete. Legacies so deeply rooted in our past are not easily overcome," said Chancellor Harvey Perlman, in a letter to the Black Lives Matter event organizers.

Some of the requests made by the students included more diverse faculty, cultural sensitivity education, and acknowledgment of racism at UNL.

While Chancellor Perlman did recognize that racism existed he says, "hate speech", falls under the First Amendment and penalties can’t be imposed unless there is an immediate threat of violence.

"I think it could have been worded a different way. I think there could have been more mention on, yes this is your right, but we are still going to do something about it to counter act those actions," says Carnetta Griffin.

The students says they know change takes time, but they would like to see more involvement from the administration. One person they say has done an exceptional job is Vice Chancellor Juan Franco.

"He’s doing a lot of work and always asking us if there’s something our group wants, something we need, and his help has been absolutely phenomenal," says Ayat Aribi, President of Amnesty International.

According to the Chancellor’s letter more can be done to hire diverse faculty. Officers have been appointed to do so, and the university is committed to implementing sensitivity workshops.

"When there is injustice in the system against one minority, it’s an injustice against all, and people should recognize that," says Rebeca Nikedemos.