Sorority pens apology for popping balloons that sparked active shooter alert at U-M Ann Arbor
ANN ARBOR – Members of University of Michigan's sorority alpha Kappa Delta Phi who were responsible for popping balloons that sparked an active shooter alert on March 16 published an apology in the Michigan Daily on Sunday.
According to the letter, the group was popping balloons as part of a team-building exercise. They acknowledged the delay in publishing the apology, saying they needed time to process their "feelings of guilt and disbelief," as well as taking responsibility for their actions.
Read the full letter below:
To our fellow students at the University of Michigan, the University of Michigan Chapter of alpha Kappa Delta Phi would like to sincerely apologize for the events that took place last Saturday as a result of our actions. Last week, a group of our members had planned a bonding event that involved team-building activities, including one that involved popping balloons that set off the false shooter alert. We are truly sorry to everyone who feared for their lives and had to experience the traumatic events of that day, especially to our fellow Muslim students and all those who were present at the New Zealand Mosques Solidarity Vigil. It is unacceptable to merely pass off our actions as a poorly timed coincidence. To do so would be to ignore the politically-charged atmosphere that day and the many serious events on campus that preceded the false alarm. Failure to acknowledge these circumstances would only further enable us to benefit from the privilege that comes with a lack of understanding about the real dangers and fears that many of our fellow peers, students of color and Muslim students live with on a day to day basis.
We also want to acknowledge our silence and delay in responding to the events of last week. As part of a large and diverse community of color, we understand that everyone perceives and processes traumatic events in different ways and at different speeds. We have used this past week to not only process our feelings of guilt and disbelief, but to also reflect on our mistakes and take responsibility for our actions by reaching out to members of our immediate communities. We take this event as a stark realization that we need to further educate ourselves about Islamophobia, white supremacy and what it means to use our position as A/PIA students to participate in more meaningful coalition building on campus. Moving forward, we are committed to standing together in solidarity with our fellow Muslim students and marginalized communities on campus by holding necessary conversations and taking the right steps towards being more cognizant of our actions. While our words cannot undo the trauma that was experienced that day, we will use Saturday’s events as a way to further educate ourselves more about social justice and to empower and uplift our fellow Muslim community and communities of color.
The University of Michigan Chapter of alpha Kappa Delta Phi
The University of Michigan Chapter of alpha Kappa Delta Phi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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