Caption: Video has been edited for clarity of content.
On March 26, we hosted our first virtual town hall together with our Student Affairs colleagues and campus partners to address recent bias and hate incidents directed toward Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi-American students and employees, particularly those from or perceived to be from China or East Asia. We were glad to see over 400 people come together as participants in the meeting and as allies.
One of our goals for the town hall was to offer a space for students to voice their concerns or questions about recent events on campus, in our communities, and online, and to offer resources, partnership, and community in a time of physical isolation.
We’d like to thank our panelists:
- Jenna Friedman, Assistant Director, Dean of Students Office, who leads our bias incident response process
- Kathy Kruse, Assistant Dean/Director, Dean of Students Office
- Caitlyn LoMonte, Assistant Director for Social Justice Programs, Multicultural Student Center
- Tev Lee, Program Coordinator, Asian-Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Student Center
- Cindy Cheng, Chair, Asian American Studies
- Letissa Reid, Equal Opportunity Investigations Administrator, Office of Compliance
- Sherri Charleston, Assistant Vice Provost Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement
- Samantha McCabe, Interim Assistant Dean/Director, International Student Services
Despite our efforts to closely monitor the call and to safeguard against disturbances, the event was interrupted with inappropriate and offensive outbursts. We adjusted our set-up as quickly as we could to block the disturbances. We are putting measures in place to prevent this from happening again, and we have filed reports to the Office of Conduct and Community Standards and University Police Department.
Unfortunately, no law or university policy alone will prevent these acts from happening. But our response and follow-through as a community will make a difference. Please keep speaking out against bias and hate and keep speaking up for our community. Racism and xenophobia have no place in our community. COVID-19 is not specific to an ethnicity or race. The diversity of our community is our strength. Last week, Chancellor Blank released a statement affirming our values and commitment to an environment where all feel safe and thrive.
If you experience harassment or discrimination from a student or employee and/or in a physical or online university or community space, we encourage you to file a bias incident report with the Dean of Students Office.
We encourage you to connect with the Dean of Students Office if you need to process the event. The office remains open to students, faculty, and staff via phone, email, and web-chat.
Remember, you’re not alone, and we’re all in this together.
Take good care,
Christina Olstad, Dean of Students
She, Her, Hers
Gabe Javier, Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs – Identity and Inclusion
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