While the overall encounter up to that point was troubling for Morgan, she tells PEOPLE that being told it was not her home was the most heart-wrenching part of it.
"It was a petty statement that demonstrated the officers' desire for me to know my place, or in this case, my placelessness," she says. "They wanted my brother and me to know that we didn't belong here, that there was no safe space for us, that our bodily autonomy was irrelevant, or perhaps that it didn't exist."
In her Twitter thread, Morgan argued to the officers that she "was one of 7 Black faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and that our student body population is 2% Black. I told them that the anti-Blackness they espouse and practice is part of the reason why."
She also said her husband came to her defense, claiming that the officers "don't harass anyone white on campus, ever" and pointed out that their neighbors — some of whom came outside during the incident — were not treated in the same manner.
"My husband asked what, to their mind, we should do to not be harassed and followed," Morgan recalled. "They said 'Stay in open spaces.' That answer is unclear and insufficient."
In the wake of the incident, SCU's President Kevin O'Brien S.J issued a letter to the campus community, where he apologized to Morgan and her family. The note also included measures that would be taken, including an independent investigation, putting the officers on administrative leave and a review of SCU's practices and policies.
"To Professor @mos_daf and her family: I am deeply sorry for the hurtful incident that happened today," he wrote in a tweet. "No work is more important than our efforts to realize a more inclusive, welcoming and safe campus where all are respected and valued."
In a statement to PEOPLE, the SCU Campus Security spokesperson mentions its "very diverse team" and mentions the investigation.
"I look forward to the outcome that's going to vindicate what this situation was," the spokesperson says. "It was us asking somebody who was not supposed to be on campus to move along and that person moved along to a university house that we had to, at least, make sure that person was connected to that house."
"When the facts come out, it will paint a different picture," he adds. "This isn't to take away from [Morgan's] feelings or emotions of past events and things that have happened in her life, but that's not this case. We're not those folks."
As for Morgan, she says she's feeling unsure about her safety on campus but is speaking out in hopes that the experience "opens up broader conversations on campuses across the country about racism and the role of policing."
"This isn't just a Santa Clara issue; this is a national disgrace," she says. "When will Black and brown students be made to feel safe and protected on campuses? When will Black and brown faculty and students?"
"I never come to campus alone at night for fears that I'll be asked to prove I belong," she adds. "I don't know when I'll feel comfortable returning. It's a terrible feeling."
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
• ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.
Source: Read Full Article