The Black Student Assembly, Program Board, and the Undergraduate Student Government wish for the welfare, health, and recovery of everyone impacted by the incident of October 31, 2012. The intent of the event was to create a safe, secure, and alcohol-free environment on campus for students on the night of Halloween. We did not foresee the tragedy that would transpire. Our organizations are working with the university administration to actively prevent such a misfortune from reoccurring in the future.
These are times of hardship not only for the Trojan family but also for communities well beyond the boundaries of USC’s campus; it is therefore critical that we hold one another accountable while also taking great care not to denounce the members of our own community. Condemning one another will only further stratify and marginalize our family at a time when we each need harmony, support, and encouragement. We especially ask all Trojans to be cautious of isolating and targeting your fellow students, many of whose very lives have been affected by the incidents.
For decades, USC’s Black Student Assembly has executed its mission of developing leadership, educating its members, fostering community, and service to others. The assembly is a major voice and resource for African American students at USC, and its activity over the years illuminates the strength of diversity for both current and future students at USC. From hosting hundreds of college applicants at our annual Multicultural Overnight, to working with dozens of high school students on college applications, to hosting formal affairs recognizing the brilliant achievements of its members, and much more, it continues to provide value to the university’s devotion to academia, diversity, and public service.
The act of one individual outside of our event, is not a reflection of our purpose. Responses to the incident, however, are an indication that BSA’s service to the USC community is far from complete.
In moving forward, the Black Student Assembly has decided to suspend hosting parties and other socially driven events for the remainder of the semester. Instead, BSA will focus its energy on cultural programming and providing immediate relief, recovery, and long-term reform at the University of Southern California. Program Board will also increase the scrutiny placed on outside organizations during the review process of co-sponsorship. Our efforts are first and foremost to serve the USC student body, while at the same time fostering an inclusive community in adherence to the USC strategic vision. We believe that in doing so, our organizations fulfill their efforts of providing the best undergraduate experience for all USC students.