Letter to the Editor: ASU Armenian, Assyrian community statement on recent ASU Armenian Genocide recognition

Student groups applaud recent legislation and ASASU Supreme Court opinion recognizing the Armenian genocide calls on all USG Candidates and Campuses to #KeepThePromise

Armenian Students Association:

The purpose of the ASA is to present and promote awareness of the Armenian American community, with particular regard to Armenian culture, heritage, language and history, as well as human rights. The group provides a platform to unite Armenian students, and to encourage academic support and networking opportunities for its members.

Assyrian Student Association:

The purpose of the ASA shall be to unite the Assyrian youth in Arizona that share an interest in the social and educational aspects of the Assyrian culture. The ASA strives to promote and sustain higher education among the students in the Assyrian community, and to preserve and raise awareness about Assyrian history and heritage.

As descendants of genocide survivors and on behalf of all victims of prejudice and persecution in our community, we welcome recently passed legislation formally recognizing the Armenian Genocide at ASU.

We support and commend ASU Undergraduate Student Government Polytechnic President Ryan O’Hara for signing this legislation into law and declare this a milestone victory for human rights, justice and truth at our campus and throughout the country. We likewise support and commend the recently published ASASU Supreme Court opinion affirming the ASU USG record on the Armenian Genocide and upholding its recognition as within the purview of ASU USG.

As part of one of the largest universities in the U.S., a New American University, and representing the strong ideals of this great nation, students from various genders, religions, sexual orientations, colors and creeds came together in common cause to recognize the first genocide of the twentieth century and to pay tribute to the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks who perished in the years 1915 to1923. This legislation underscores the spirit of true humanitarianism.

We hereby acknowledge the students who have fought tirelessly for Armenian Genocide recognition over the past several years. We also acknowledge the overwhelming support of the student body over the past 24 months in bringing this legislation to fruition. Thus, we call on each 2017-18 ASU USG candidate and elected officer to affirm his or her record on the Armenian Genocide, by a date no later than Monday, April 24, 2017. We also invite the Tempe, Downtown and West campuses to affirm their record on the Armenian Genocide by a date no later than the first fall session of Congress.

Education is both a tool of empowerment and a catalyst for change. As a final call to action, we invite all students of good conscience to #KeepThePromise and watch "The Promise" in theaters starting Friday, April 21. The film, starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac, will promote further knowledge of history and genocide awareness within our student body. In recognizing the past and spreading awareness, we hope for the day when this senseless violence will come to an end. Our prayers are with the people of Syria, and all families affected by ongoing war crimes in this conflict.

We are grateful to the ASU faculty, administration, student representatives and student body, who have supported us in our continued struggle for justice. We look forward to locking hands in commemoration of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24.

In terms of commemorative events, ASA, along with other Armenian groups in Arizona, is planning a screening of the film "The Promise." There are also annual events planned by local Armenians and citizens of good conscience at the State Capitol. However, we would like to strongly emphasize that our preferred method of student involvement here would be to go and watch "The Promise," upon release April 21. Any time, any location. 

Reach the Armenian Students Association/Assyrian Student Association at armenians.asu@gmail.com.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this letter to the editor are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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