To our fellow students–
We, as your Student Union, know that acts of bias on our campus run counter to our shared community values of mutual respect and tolerance. We strive to create a campus climate in which identity doesn’t act as a barrier to relationships, resources, or opportunities. With that said, we acknowledge that this is not our current reality. Although we are limited in the scope of the change we can affect, we will continue to work tirelessly to get closer to that ideal.
First and foremost, we want to highlight the resources that students have to help process this weekend’s incident, as have been recently shared by Dr. Emelyn dela Peña, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, and Dr. Lori White, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. You can find a list at the end of this statement.
We want to take a moment to remind you of some pertinent steps we shared on July 31, 2018, in Student Union’s action plan to combat bias and racial profiling at WashU. Below, you will find a few of the action items that directly apply to this incident.
- Emphasize more heavily the expansion of mental health and personal resources through the Habif Health & Wellness Center and other campus partners.
- Improve bias training programs for on-campus services, including Student Union, WUPD, and other campus partners.
- Advocate for improvements to the Bias Report and Support System (BRSS).
Our full action plan, including more details as well as other steps, can be found by clicking here. Additionally, we have identified the following steps in response to this most recent incident:
- The Student Union Executive Board is coordinating with the Center of Diversity and Inclusion to sponsor events and facilitate conversations surrounding racial identity so that these topics are not forgotten after statements such as these have been posted.
- The First Year Class Council is working with the First Year Center Executive Board to establish an educational module surrounding racial identity topics during Bear Beginnings 2019 so that all incoming students have foundational knowledge about race relations as well as the campus resources to which they have access.
- The Diversity Affairs Council and Senate Racial Identity Task Force are working with Residential Life and Dr. Rob Wild, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Transition & Engagement and Dean of Students, to determine the current state of their staff training surrounding race and working with campus partners such as the CDI to determine improvements that could be made.
Your voice, input, and concerns are critical as we work toward these objectives amongst others. Please don’t hesitate to contact any Student Union officer or stop by our office, DUC 270, with anything you might wish to speak about.
Your Student Union
- Information about the Bias Report and Support System (BRSS)
- Link to the CDI staff and contact information
- Individual support: students can schedule time with Melanie Houston or Purvi Patel
- Today, October 4th from 4-6PM in the CDI (DUC, Suite 330)
- Monday, October 8 from 5:30-7PM in the Center (DUC 330)