Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all charges in the murder of George Floyd. 

With this verdict of guilty, coming so soon after the death of Daunte Wright, we encourage our Warrior community to acknowledge those of us most affected by this ongoing trauma and pain. We recognize the trauma, outrage, fear, and grief many continue to experience – especially our students, faculty, and staff of color. 

As an institution of higher learning, Winona State supports the freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and the right to peacefully protest, and affirms our mission to serve as strong advocates for social change. Our campus will remain a safe and inclusive place for those peaceful protests to occur. We expect any demonstrations to be respectful whether they take place on or off campus. 

Winona State stands with the Black community and firmly against racism, hate, and bigotry. We embrace diversity and are resolute in working towards equity for all. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, this past year has brought us together as a community for discussion, learning, growth, and change. We have made progress on the goals we laid out last year, but there is more work to do.  

We will not rest until Winona State University, Winona, and Rochester are truly equitable and inclusive. We ask that you join us on this continued journey of learning and action. 


Sincerely yours, 

President Scott R. Olson and Jonathan Locust, AVP of Equity & Inclusive Excellence 


Read WSU’s full Freedom of Speech statement. 

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Dr. Scott R. Olson was appointed the 15th president of Winona State University on May 16, 2012. He has published two books, 30 book chapters and 22 journal articles in publications in the United States, Canada, China, Korea, Poland, Russia, and India. He has delivered over 100 papers at conferences in Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Korea, Poland, Taiwan and the United States. Through a $20 million gift from the Lilly Endowment he was able to create the Global Media Network (which won a national award from the American Council on Education) and the Center for Media Design.

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