As I read the Nubian Message article, Racist Social media posts surface just after Black N.C. State SBP-elect announced, about racist, intolerant and hateful comments posted on Yik Yak after the student body elections, I was saddened, angry, frustrated and disgusted.

All understandable reactions to such ignorant and cowardly comments directed at some in our community, but harmful to all of us. We should be careful not to just dismiss this as a problem with the abuse of technology.

The problem is the existence of racism, sexism, homophobia and related “isms” in our society. Whether written

anonymously on social media, shouted in the brickyard, or scratched in to a bathroom stall, these beliefs are indicative of a bigger problem in our community.

The problem is a people problem and a community problem. Thankfully the recent election revealed that the student body as a whole doesn’t share the hateful thoughts expressed on Yik Yak.

There is no place for bigotry, hate and intolerance in our community. But the only way we will cure this sickness is by actively acknowledging the problem and engaging with others who don’t share our personal identities. We are fortunate to be in a community of higher learning where we can explore new ideas, discover new cultures, and challenge our beliefs. To not fully embrace this opportunity is to waste the full value of attending NC State University.

As I continue to reflect on the situation, one other feeling kept coming to mind. I am part of the problem. While I am an advocate for justice, equal opportunity and respect for all, I haven’t been using my voice to the fullest potential. I challenge each of us to find our voice to speak out against injustices where we can. Have a conversation with your roommate. Talk about these issues in your classes. Attend one of the many programs and speakers on campus and seek out opportunities to experience cultures not your own.

For those in our community who may not feel safe, please reach out to Campus Police and other support services on campus and know that the safety of all of our campus community is very important to us.

In your own way, give voice to equality and justice everywhere for that is the only way we can achieve true community and realize the potential of the WOLFPACK!

Mike Giancola

Associate Vice Provost

Student Leadership & Engagement