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SGA president Juwan Smith urges students to look past their own identities and appreciate a diverse community. 

STATESBORO — The Georgia Southern University Student Government Association released a statement Thursday afternoon on the incidents revolving the visit of Jennine Capó Crucet Wednesday. 

Following Crucet’s lecture on her novel and a heated exchange with students, video of some students burning the book began to circulate on social media. 

SGA President Juwan Smith released a statement to the student body Thursday afternoon. 

“Georgia Southern University is home to many students who come from diverse backgrounds, religious beliefs, political affiliations, gender identities, sexual and romantic orientations, and more. Opening the door to organic conversation is essential to learning and appreciating our differences. As we develop these competencies, we become better equipped to understand and address the challenges that accompany diversity and the inclusive environment that we seek to foster,” Smith said. “However, we must be intentional in our approaches, conversations, and responses to developing our diversity competencies. The first step does not begin with someone else; it begins with us. We must want to change our ideals and thought processes to be inclusive of others, even when the concepts are difficult to understand and accept.”

Smith urged for students to look beyond themselves and to have an open outlook.

“We cannot look from biased lenses. Instead, we must look beyond our own identities to understand and appreciate the experiences of our diverse community members. We must choose the side for the inclusive excellence as we march forward toward progress.

The full statement can be read here: 

Statement

Kyle Clark, The George-Anne Daily Managing Editor, gaeditor@georgiasouthern.edu

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