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 Tuesday, June 14, 2005 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

  From Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano: In the spirit of continuing campus discourse on current topics, I thought you would be interested in the following message from Christine Yoshinaga-Itano, vice provost and associate vice chancellor for diversity and equity, on "Looking Out for Each Other."

Looking Out for Each Other
By Christine Yoshinaga-Itano
Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Equity

No doubt you have read of the racially motivated assault on one of our African American students that occurred on June 3 off campus in Boulder. In light of this recent attack and several other incidents that occurred earlier this year, many of you have asked what you can do to support our students.

First of all, we can look out for the well being of one another. When incidents occur, we can learn to stand together with those who are victimized. We need the eyes and ears of the community to be vigilant and to report incidents to the proper authorities.

Vigilance includes attempting to commit details to memory, such as visual images of individuals, vehicles, license plates and auditory recall of what was said. We cannot always prevent bias-motivated acts or sexual assaults, but we can create an environment that makes it difficult for perpetrators to act because we have developed a climate in which individuals report and intervene when incidents occur.

You also can help by ensuring that buildings are securely locked, by preventing propping of locked doors with rocks, by ensuring that no one walks alone on the campus after dark and by letting individuals know when their peers and colleagues believe that they have violated our standards of behavior.

In addition, we can work together in developing University 101, a course for all students that will cover such topics as sexual assault and harassment, discrimination, alcohol and drug abuse, and cultural competency.

Most members of the CU-Boulder community take pride in their values of equity. Therefore, we have the power to take a stand against the few who violate our codes of behavior, to send the message that acts of intolerance, hatred and discrimination against others because of their race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age or other characteristics will be met with a loud and united voice that we will not allow our students, our staff or our faculty to be victimized.

The Office of Diversity and Equity is dedicated to the development of a safe and equitable university environment. Success is highly dependent upon the support of our campus community members. Those of you in the majority populations can have significant and positive impacts on environmental change. Just as sexual assault and harassment can be prevented only through the support of male allies, messages against bias-motivated acts must come from those members in the larger groups across the campus in order to send a strong message that acts of hatred are not to be tolerated on our campus.

Supporting each other requires involvement and going beyond personal discomfort levels with words and actions. Let's truly build community, so that no one must endure hardship alone. Establishing a safer environment will take the commitment of our entire community. No one can do it alone, but we can work together to solve the problems that we face.

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