Statement from your Dean of Students – We’re here for you

Dear students:

Over the past several days, we have all witnessed moments of great pain and violence, as well as inspiring acts of people coming together to confront racism and inequality. We’ve seen peaceful protests in Madison and communities around the world in solidarity with Black and Brown communities, advocating for systemic change. I am proud of our Badgers who have been coming together and exercising their First Amendment rights.  This is an example of purposeful action and living out the Wisconsin Experience.

With all that is occurring in the world today, I recognize that this may be a difficult time for you or for a loved one. Navigating the pain and hurt of racial injustice in the midst of a pandemic that is also disproportionately affecting African Americans is overwhelming. Even though we are practicing physically distant, we are still here to support you.  Some resources that may be helpful to you at this time:

As your dean of students, and as a White woman, it is my responsibility to move beyond words and to deeply listen to the voices of those most acutely affected. I am committed to engaging with students and invite you to meet with me during my virtual office hours. If you would prefer to write me, please email me. I will read and respond to each message.

We’re committed to have this conversation; This engagement doesn’t stop after the protests are finished.

We recognize there is work to be done, on our campus and in the community, to strive for racial justice. I look forward to working with you, together, to create a community in which all students feel welcome and included.

Remember to take care of yourself and each other.

With care and concern,

Christina Olstad, Ed.D.
Dean of Students