I am writing as a concerned and disappointed alum regarding the classless display of hatred from a currently enrolled Auburn University student directed at the University of Tennessee’s basketball player, Santiago Vescovithat, that was broadcasted into the televisions of a national audience in Saturday’s game.
I am also troubled that 48 hours after this controversial sequence of events no one in the media has written about the significance of these comments and the bigger story of xenophobia after only reporting the facts of the quote, ejection from the event, and permanent suspension from the venue.
Auburn University serves as a beacon for east Alabama, the state of Alabama, the Southeast, the United States and the world.
I had to painfully attempt to explain to my six-year-old why someone would say something so mean and ignorant, as the audio from the broadcast picked up every word for the world to hear.
There is no place for this in any institution of higher education and certainly not Auburn.
Auburn enjoys its reputation as “the loveliest village on the plains,” and that’s not by accident or without strong institutional respect for others.
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President Gogue listed his values and principles on his biography page and included in this list are: “Each individual is unique and special. Our respect for our differences allows us to grow, learn, understand and form new perspectives. It is our differences that can serve to unite us in our effort to better serve.”
“We deeply care about all people and the value we can add to their life and our society by their involvement with us. There is no place for arrogance in higher education as we strive to offer diverse educational opportunities to all people.”
I am asking you to hold President Gogue to these values and insist that he take the strongest stance regarding the university’s discipline of the aforementioned student. Also, he should start a bigger conversation on xenophobia that should be dominating the headlines that so far only seem to care about Auburn’s important 17-point comeback win Saturday.
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