Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Fraternity & Sorority Life holds dear the values of intellectual growth, friendship, social responsibility, well-being and leadership. These shared values, along with the Colorado Creed, serve as a foundation, but just stating them is not enough, especially in light of recent acts of racial discrimination and violence. Racist language and actions within our community do not reflect what it means to be a Buff or the values of our recognized fraternity and sorority community. Racism in any form – whether expressed in person or online through social media – is not acceptable. It is important for all of us to understand the role we play in the dismantling of overt and systemic racism both in our organizations and in our communities. It has unearthed behaviors, both past and present, of our members acting in ways that have only served to isolate and discriminate against students and communities of color. As a result, there has been an awakening in our community. We are all asking how we can reconcile our past, hold members accountable in the present, and work toward a more inclusive future.
The fraternal movement is one that starts as an undergraduate experience that evolves over a lifetime. Both councils and chapters are led by students, and we believe the leaders from the fraternity and sorority community will determine innovative and action-oriented ways to engage our members, and hold them accountable, in upholding our values. Fraternity & Sorority Life is committed to working actively with student leaders to ensure emphasis is placed on diversity, equity and inclusion in our community.
It is important to recognize that this is not a campaign. We are not trying to check a box or find a quick fix. As Akirah Bradley, CU Boulder’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, articulated in her statement issued earlier this month, “In order for things to change, we need to recognize our biases, actively be anti-racist every day in everything that we do, learn within the instances in which we fail, make a genuine effort to be inclusive and mindful in our daily lives, and continue to learn about the systemic oppression and social capital in our country and reflect on privilege and bias.” With that being said, this is a call to action.
Fraternity & Sorority Life staff will prioritize the following:
- Continue to work with the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) and individual councils and chapters to address reports of racism and the hurtful impact on our community.
- Work with each council to identify steps to create a more equitable and accessible recruitment process that includes but is not limited to marketing membership opportunities in underrepresented spaces, encouraging chapters to reduce dues and/or provide assistance to members who may not be able to afford the experience, and ensure potential new members have access to technology for virtual recruitment purposes.
- Facilitate dialogues between chapter presidents and council leaders to identify meaningful educational opportunities to help members explore ways to gain knowledge on existing privileges and support brothers and sisters who are negatively affected, either directly or indirectly, by racism.
- Create a guide to help councils, chapters, and members understand the systems in place to make policy and programmatic changes in their respective councils in a way encourages leadership to set norms and expectations that are consistent with values that foster inclusivity.
- Gather resources from key campus and community stakeholders that can be educational resources for chapters and members.
- Outline a new process for citywide National Pan-Hellenic Chapters (NPHC), historically Black fraternities and sororities, chartered at CU to activate more quickly.
We have created a Frequently Asked Questions that serves to provide additional information on student accountability and the roles various entities play in facilitating change. Additionally, there are many campus departments, including Fraternity & Sorority Life, that can support chapter leaders and members. We encourage students to reach out to these resources and share them with their peers:
- The Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement
- The Office of Institutional, Equity and Compliance
- Counseling and Psychiatric Services
- Office of Victim Assistance
- The Colorado Creed
We recognize that change cannot happen overnight and we will share an update on our progress throughout the fall semester.