By now, every member of this community knows that Jazzpher Evans, a QU student from Joliet, was assaulted and injured a few days ago at The Barn nightclub. We know the police are investigating this assault. Today, many of us are attending part or all of what will be a peaceful protest outside that nightclub, as we will stand together in support of Jazz.
We are frustrated. I am frustrated.
We all understand that investigations take time, and a thorough investigation ensures that any future arrest or conviction will hold up in court. I am not feeling patient right now, but I ask every member of this community to be patient and to judge the investigation based on its results more than its speed. I do understand that much of what is happening right now is not visible to most of us, but much is happening.
I do have a few notes to share with our community.
First, as I mentioned to you two days ago, if you are a witness to the attack on Jazzpher Evans or the events surrounding that attack, you need to come forward and speak to the police. If you have already done so, thank you.
Second, a meeting of the Quincy Human Rights Commission will take place this evening. As recently announced, this meeting will now take place in Pepsi Arena at 6:30 p.m. If you’d like to attend, please enter on the north side of Pepsi Arena, near the corner of 20th and Oak. You should wear your mask and pay attention to social distancing.
Third, ours is a tight-knit community, and many of us have been shocked and shaken by what happened to a fellow student and, for some of you, a friend. What has happened this week has been particularly traumatic for students of color and may have been traumatic for women who have themselves been victims of violence. If you need counseling or any other form of help, you will receive it. And, fundamentally, know that QU is absolutely committed to your safety and will always support you. For all students, and especially our students of color at this terrible moment, do know that we have your back, and we always will.
There is an old saying in Latin – fiat Justitia ruat caelum – which in English means “let justice be done though the heavens fall.” We at Quincy University expect justice in this case. We expect justice even if justice is difficult. Nothing less will be accepted. Nothing less is acceptable.
May God bless the people of Quincy University and keep us safe.