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African American Organization host Black Lives Matter Vigil

Shippensburg Community comes together to support Black Lives Matter event

Shippensburg– Students, Faculty, Alumni,  campus police, and others came together Thursday night to discuss what Black Lives Matter means and share their thoughts on the subject. Members of the on campus African American Organization gave speeches, showed videos, and lit candles in remembrance of those that have lost their lives due to violent altercations over the past years.

Shippensburg President Jody Harpster was in attendance and stressed his support for the Shippensburg Community coming together as a family.

“I thought the Vigil went very well”, said Harpster. “It was encouraging to see so many students, faculty, administrators, and others in attendance. Many of the speeches and comments were both sad and motivational at the same time.”

President Harpster also discussed his expectations of the campus community after a student no longer enrolled at the university posted hateful and racist comments on social media.

“I expect that we will not use racist or hateful language. I expect that we will treat each other with respect and value our differences. I expect that if we have disagreements, we will talk face-to-face to resolve our problems. It’s too easy to post something online without engaging in real conversation about the things that make us uncomfortable”, said Harpster. “This issue is much larger than a Facebook post. It’s a symptom of the disease of racism that is infecting our nation, something that deeply saddens me. While we will not solve all our country’s problems here on the campus of Shippensburg University, we can have a positive impact on each other, and one by one work with each other to erase hatred and to promote decency and understanding.”

He ended his speech by commemorating those who have rallied to find ways to bring people together over the past week.

The African American Organization plans on having similar events for the rest of the semester to discuss issues of race and equality.

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