Dear President Dean Bresciani,
I have been honored to write for this newspaper during my time at this university. I have found a community and a home here at North Dakota State University. I have found many lifelong friends at NDSU who represent many corners of the country and the globe.
During my time I have reported on many controversial topics, from my article regarding the Fargodome chant which you responded to, to pieces about the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. Today though I must write for many students here at our university and ask for you to take a stand against racism in this country and this university.
Our nation is witnessing events that seek to divide us. Old Nazi rhetoric and phrases are being shouted in the streets. People are dying while standing up for what they believe in: the belief that all men are created equal.
This simple truth is something that is at the center of what our country and university believe in.
This October, Peter Tefft is seeking to hold a pro-white rally right here in Fargo. This simply has no place in our country. I fear for my friends here in Fargo, and where I would like to hope that this sick way of thinking doesn’t pollute our university, I do believe your words hold more power than mine. I shiver to think that fellow Bison may be at this rally, but I feel sick thinking that they might bring this way of thinking into our university.
Forget the statues. Forget all debates defending our President’s remarks. Forget that former Grand Wizard David Duke wants to fulfill a promise, which sounds eerily like a genocide wish. That is not the focus of this article.
No, the focus is here. Fargo, North Dakota. Where we call home for at least our time here in college. I don’t want my home to be overrun with Nazis or members of the KKK, with White Supremacists who seek to divide us.
The history of these groups is loud enough. We must denounce hate groups that seek to divide our great country and this very university.
Racism doesn’t belong here in our country nor does it belong here in North Dakota. North Dakota State University must make a stance here and I implore you to do so.
Please make a statement. Reassure our students, who represent 80 countries and 47 states, that NDSU does not allow racism, hatred or bigotry within its walls.
We need a leader to remind us of this simple fact, and we need a resurgence that this fact remains for our university.
I know many students who are in shock including myself. As young adults, this might be one of the most controversial things that we have ever witnessed.
Please, Dean Bresciani, we need your leadership now in this cloud of confusion and hate that is ready to come to our university. I request this statement for our students now and the students who will come here. Because I do believe that is a safe university for all races, and it needs to stay this way or else face serious consequences.
Erik Jonasson II