In Solidarity: A Letter From the Editor

Dear Fellow Billikens, 

 

The Her Campus at SLU Mission Statement is as follows: 

 

“Our Mission as the Her Campus Chapter at Saint Louis University is to cultivate an awareness amongst our university community for understanding each other’s experiences, highlight the student voice, and generate an empowering narrative to connect the Chapter and university.”

 

Since our founding here on campus in 2017, members of Her Campus have been working tirelessly to uphold this mission. We pride ourselves on being a place where all who wish to utilize our platform can come and be heard. 

 

Where womanhood is fully represented and personhood is fully advocated. 

 

Where tips on how to find the best manicure are nestled between a heartfelt personal narrative on mental health and an educational collaboration on vaccines. 

 

Where life as a college woman is preserved and our power is collectivized. 

 

Where we can step into our voices and explore the core of who we are as individuals. 

 

All of these things make Her Campus ours. 

 

But Her Campus, ultimately, is only a reflection of the campus around which it revolves. 

 

The act of vandalism that was discovered at the Clocktower memorial for Breonna Taylor is deeply disturbing to our organization. Such a blatant display of hate is intolerable, sickening, and--above all--visible proof that we have a long way to go as a campus in terms of eliminating racism. 

 

While many of our white members did not bear personal witness to such a horrendous act of blatant racism before this day, we recognize that does not mean this is a first. Every day, BlPOC members of our organization and our campus experience injustice. Microaggressions, unequal access to vital services, targeting by campus security, and racist statements are a part of everyday life for many Black members of our campus community. 

 

It should not have taken “HATE” written across our home in Sharpie for us to finally acknowledge hate in our home. 

 

Her Campus is not a perfect organization, but we are an organization with a duty to uphold. Our name alone--“Her Campus”--indicates that we are taking stake in our campus. We are laying claim to our campus. And that means making this campus a home for EVERY PERSON THAT STEPS FOOT ON IT. Black Women (especially Black transwomen). Indigenous women. Women of color. Women with physical and/or mental disabilities. Queer women. Women in STEM. Women that are survivors. Women that are mothers.

 

 “HER” does not mean able-bodied, cis, and white. 

 

“HER means “US”. 

 

“HER” means Breonna Taylor, who deserved so much more in life, and deserves so much better in remembrance. 

 

In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Her Campus commits to the following: 

  • Continuing to allow a space for opinion, but never a space for hatred; upholding that racism is never an opinion. 

  • Strictly abiding by the AP Style standards for referring to racial identity, keeping our language intentional. 

  • Having difficult conversations about the focus of political pieces, and recognizing the identities that we speak from and the space upon which we stand as we address these topics; seeking to report narratives supported by experience, not only by statistics. 

  • Encouraging the discussion of emotion around current happenings, of identity, of the direction in which we are headed and the direction in which we want to head in our chapter meetings. 

  • Internalizing and personalizing the happenings on campus, in accordance with our Constitution. 

  • Highlighting the STUDENT voice. Not ignoring the climate that breeds our creativity. 

 

We seek to recreate the idea that women must be “this” or “that”, which is why on our website, you will see beauty tips followed immediately by intrinsic analyses of the events that shape our cores. Women can be “this” and “that”, and Her Campus at SLU is committed to encouraging women to be active allies even when their voices shake. 

 

Black students, Black Women, you deserve to feel like this is Your Campus. 

 

This platform will always be open to whoever wants to utilize it. This narrative is one that we write every day, and we vow to write it with full power: anger. Passion. Truth. Hope. 

 

 

Yours In Solidarity, 

Lexi Kayser

Editor-In-Chief, 2019-

Her Campus at Saint Louis University