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GPSG Condemns use of Tear Gas in Iowa City & Announces Virtual Listening Sessions

Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) is deeply saddened by the events which transpired on the evening of Wednesday, June 3, 2020. It is outrageous, disturbing, and entirely unacceptable that tear gas and flash-bang devices were used in disproportionate force against Iowans and University of Iowa students. Undoubtedly this caused immense immediate physical injury, but also likely rendered those present with immutable trauma. This incident has forced us all to face the harsh reality that law enforcement officers chose brutality over basic decency against their neighbors. They invoked pain over peace and triggered chaos over consideration. 

We echo the sentiments issued jointly with the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) earlier this week: we are dedicated to erasing the unjust power dynamic present in our university and in our cities. Police brutality and militarized actions targeted against the Black community are abhorrent. GPSG is dedicated to advocating for the safety of Black students, faculty, staff, and citizens. 

GPSG was encouraged by the steps that the university intends to take in collaboration with Mayor Teague, Mayor Pro Tem Salih, and the Iowa City Council. However, we feel strongly about bringing the voices of the smart and talented graduate and professional students into action plans. GPSG values transparency and authentic discourse, which is why we’re hosting two listening sessions over the weekend to inform the comprehensive platform we intend to publish early next week. 

These listening sessions are open to all interested University of Iowa graduate and professional students. Attendees can expect a student-led space for conversation, personal narratives, concerns, and suggestions regarding racial justice and equity, public health and safety, police reform, campus and community inclusivity, and related topics. 

The listening sessions will be held virtually on:

  • Saturday June 6, 2020 @ 7-8pm
  • Sunday June 7, 2020 @ 7-8pm 

To mitigate potential technological/privacy mishaps, interested graduate and professional students should email GPSG at gpsg@uiowa.edu with the date they are interested in for the Zoom link and password. 

There is a lot of work ahead of us but we’re here committed to the principles of inclusivity, the power of diversity, and the importance of equity. We stand alongside you in solidarity, to advocate for a safe community where all graduate and professional students can thrive. 

Respectfully, 

GPSG Officers & Chairs