On Feb. 20, the University community received an email from the President’s Office explaining how the school will better handle racist incidents on campus.
In an email from Interim President, Dr. Mary Meehan, administration have enlisted a series of demands, in response to concerned students and faculty, who feel the University is not appropriately handling these incidents.
Some of these steps include applying for a Lumina Foundation grant, offering faculty workshops and conducting a Campus Climate Survey.
When Meehan was asked why the above steps were chosen specifically, she shared via email that there were various groups who expressed their concern regarding the issue. She and administration felt that these were the most effective ways to ensure ownership will be taken and that the steps will be correctly followed through.
“These actions were appropriate because many of the concerns raised relate to the ways we interact with each other as a community,”
Meehan said. “Engaging the entire community in discussion both through the curriculum and through other activities and events on campus is a way of the entire community learning side by side what it will take to fight prejudice and to foster mutual understanding and respect.”
Tracy Gottlieb, vice president of Student Services, said via email that she hopes these changes will not only enact positive change throughout the community, but address problems that might specifically affect an individual.
Students were asked if they felt these steps were appropriate to address and handle the recurring problem of mishandling racist events that occur within the community.
Amatullah Shaw, a senior diplomacy major, shared via email that it is reassuring to know administration are taking proactive steps to correct these problems. However, she hopes that this is not the last time the community will address these issues.
“But I will say that President Meehan taking what was said and putting into action is a step in the right direction,” Shaw wrote in an email. “Only time will tell whether or not these demands were said just to make us happy or if they will be sustainable for future generations of students to come. For now, I am enthusiastic to see how these demands will come into fruition.”
Hannah Sakha can be reached at email@example.com.