Statement of Support: Anti-Police Brutality

GSSC Statement Addressing the Murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and  Other Acts of Racial Violence 


The Columbia University School of General Studies Student Council stands with the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd and countless others who have been senselessly murdered by law enforcement or terrorized by false police reports.

These recent events represent centuries of systemic  racism in the United States that involves the targeting and brutal policing of Black communities. We call upon our generation to join us in speaking up, for silence implies complicity with a system that condones and facilitates the murder of Black and brown lives. We ask you to be mindful of sharing violent videos that may traumatize and trigger  your peers and are not essential in conveying the need to reform a flawed system. We ask you to embody values of activism, allyship, and to be proactive in fostering conversations within familial and social circles that challenge ignorance. Finally, we ask Columbia University to implement increased sensitivity training for Barnard and Columbia Public Safety officers in order to prevent biased policing of Black and brown students on our Campus and prevent over-policing of the communities in Morningside. 

The School of General Studies is defined by a long history of students who strive not only to better themselves, but the world around them. Today, more than ever, as our communities are gripped with pain, we must rise and continue to be GS–a light in the darkness. So long as we refuse to implement accountability of our law enforcement officials, and so long as we refuse to stand up against the over-policing of our Black and brown neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family, we allow a cycle of oppression to define our community and its future. Here are actions that we can take to help:


  • Reach out to your local representative to discuss your concerns regarding police brutality and ask them to repeal the New York State Civil Rights Law 50-A which allows for the confidentiality of police disciplinary records, protecting officers who may be unfit to serve. 
  • Check your voter registration status
  • Donate to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Fill in the #JusticeForFloyd ColorOfChange petition 
  • Fill in the #JusticeForBre ColorOfChange petition


We plan to commit funds to support projects and events that will engage the GS community in this important discussion, and are here if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas.



The Columbia University General Studies Student Council