On the Verdict of Derek Chauvin

April 20, 2021

Dear Students,

Today, many of us are reflecting on the results of the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of all charges in the murder of George Floyd, which changed the world dramatically less than one year ago. Mr. Floyd’s murder is only one of many moments of racial injustice before and since, but it prompted a global racial reckoning to stand publicly in support of Black lives, and to demand a more just, equitable society. This movement was built on a centuries old struggle for racial justice and equality, which continues today.

The verdict today is but one step in this long journey towards racial justice. As a University community, we have a role to play in that progress, individually and as a collective. We will continue to reaffirm the University’s work to fulfill its commitment to anti-racism, and to foster an environment in which each of us can belong, thrive and contribute to our fullest potential.

This trial has brought about stress for many. As always, there are Columbia resources available to you, including virtual health and counseling services (Morningside and CUIMC), and support from Religious Life. We also invite you to stay connected to the Columbia community by working with us to continue to build an inclusive community for all.


Joseph Defraine Greenwell, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Office of University Life
Gender Pronouns: He/Him/His

Ixchel Rosal
Associate Vice President for Student Life
Office of University Life
Gender Pronouns: She/Her/Hers