Statement on Verdict

From the Office of the President | April 20, 2021

Dear members of the Coe community:

Today’s verdicts holding Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd cannot repair the deep pain loss of life brings, and feels like only a measured degree of justice, disproportionate to the depravity of the horrific manner in which Mr. Floyd was killed. 

While this verdict is but one step toward justice for George Floyd, conversations and action surrounding racism, bias and discrimination must continue in order to achieve true change in our society. As a campus community it is imperative that we carry on with and recommit to the work we have in progress. I acknowledge the pain, anxiety, exhaustion and profound weight of this moment, especially for the Black community and people of color, and recognizing the impact felt within our Coe campus, offer a few observations and reminders of resources available to you. 

All faculty, staff and campus leaders can play a critical role during this important time. I encourage you to consider taking time before classes, meetings, rehearsals and practices to acknowledge what has happened today and to talk about the pain and concern many are feeling. Where possible, let’s work together to create space and time to support one another as we process this moment and seek understanding of what it means for our nation. In addition, last week the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion shared the college’s plans for offering the Coe community support, education and action opportunities. The email is available at this link.  

If you or a friend are in need of additional support during this time, Coe has resources available: 

If you need immediate or emergency crisis services, please utilize the following resources:

  • If you are on campus, contact Campus Safety & Security at 319.399.8888.
If you are off campus, go to an emergency room or call 911. 

  • You also can call Foundation 2 Crisis Services (319.362.2174 or 800.332.4224) or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800.273.8255).

As we finish our academic year, we should work intentionally to remember who we are as a community, and take care to approach this moment with compassion, empathy, action and caring. Kohawks support and sustain one another, and I encourage each of you to seek out opportunities to help all individuals during this time of profound impact.