I was incredibly disappointed to see prominent members of USI’s faculty and staff hunched over their phones while sitting in reserved seating at Angela Davis’s Mandela Day address.
Certainly, this kind of behavior is not allowed at USI while classes are being held, so I am unsure as to why representatives of the university felt that this was appropriate at such an important event.
The choice to very obviously text or scroll through Facebook was immensely disrespectful to both Angela Davis and everyone who worked hard to coordinate the day’s events. Regardless of personal opinions towards Davis’s politics and activism work, she is quite literally a historic individual who deserves the dignity of one’s attention.
In the future, I would strongly encourage USI faculty to only approve extending invitations to speakers and guests that they can be bothered to be respectful towards.
With that being said, I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to those who helped to plan and host the address. Hearing Davis was an incredible opportunity for members of the USI and Evansville communities, and I only wish that more individuals present had truly realized the evening’s significance.