Guest Column: McFarland’s letter to USI

Photo courtesy of Trevion McFarland

When I came to the University of Southern Indiana (USI) in 2016 from my home in Northern Indiana, I felt this sense of “home” on campus. I met amazing people who were helpful and nothing but kind. I decided to make USI my home because of the overwhelming feeling of love, passion, and kindness.

For the past month, I have been humiliated, bullied, and put in the spotlight in regard to false accusations that had, and currently have, no viable standing. In my life, I have never felt so neglected and pushed to the side as I have been the past four weeks. In the light of these allegations, my reputation has been damaged and held in a false light by professors, faculty, and students. Leaders of the university that I have looked up to the past two years have chosen to do nothing, been perfunctory, and/or have remained quiet and allowed this awful process to continue. I have lost a great deal of respect for those individuals. During this process, I have discovered who my real and fake friends are. To those who have continued to stand with me through it all, I cannot express how grateful I am for you and your friendship. For those who have walked away and have given these false allegations power, I also cannot express how grateful I am to you for walking away. Those who know me, know my true character. They also know what they read and hear is all hearsay and has no basis.

Although such hurt has come from people in the University that I have respected and loved and that same hurt comes from an organization that I have given my all to, I still love USI and I still love the Student Government Association. From the folks on the outside looking in reading this, you may think I am crazy; however, I have taken blow after blow after blow, and I continue to choose the high road. Most days, I forgot if I was running for United States Senate or running for a Student Government position. Former

First Lady Michelle Obama said it best when she stated, “When they go low, we go high.” I have modeled that during this whole campaign process, and in the days to come, I will continue to model that.

I promise every student on this campus that I will fight for justice every day and I will fight to improve the lives of every student in every area. No matter where you are from, no matter who you identify as, and no matter what people have said to or about you, you deserve for your voice to be heard. You can always count on me to listen, stand with you, and fight for you.