In the events that have transpired at our University in the past few weeks, a quality that we should all deem as valuable in these times is transparency. Being open and honest with the student body, the community and everyone involved of what is being done to solve this dilemma and prevent others like it from happening again.
A few weeks ago, there was an incident on our campus where a Black student was accused of threatening to stab other students with scissors. The UPD got involved and the story broke from outside news outlets, and with that came a lot of false information. While a lot of the misinformation has been corrected and the University has started to provide us with more open information, however, there are still missing pieces to this story. These pieces could be filled if we consider the value of being transparent.
We, as the editorial staff and as part of the University, understand that cases and legal processes like these will take time and careful deliberation. We’re not asking to divulge any information prematurely that may twist the outcome. We are asking for communication and transparency on the matter at hand from all fronts, as it is important to us.
If the University had responded to the situation faster, providing us with more than just a one-sentence statement from UPD Chief of Police John Fields, a lot of the misinformation could have been avoided. The press conferences, which were held days after the story broke, were informative and helpful, but getting that information to students and community members sooner would have been better for all parties involved.
As we move toward a resolution of this incident, let’s remember to always keep transparency at the forefront of our communication.