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A message regarding campus climate

The following message was sent to the campus community on October 10, 2019:

Students and colleagues, 

 

I have heard your concerns regarding language and images being used on our campus that inflame and divide. The University of Minnesota Morris does not condone messaging that is meant to be divisive. That messaging does not support the welcoming community we seek to be. 

 

When we say we support our students and that we value every member of this community, we mean it. While we embrace free expression, we also recognize that exercising this right comes with responsibility. Use of intentionally provocative speech impacts our campus and those targeted in the messaging, leading to individuals and student communities feeling invalidated, isolated, and unsafe. It isn’t acceptable to treat one another that way.

 

Let me assure you campus leaders take building an inclusive and respectful campus seriously and are taking action in this area. A group is already working on a campus climate evaluation and plan. There will be opportunities to share your thoughts on these issues throughout the year. I encourage each of you to participate. 

 

With details about additional programming to come, we are offering opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to engage in this topic, either by reaching out to me or by contacting any of the following individuals:

 

For students: Adrienne Conley and Elizabeth (liz) Thomson, Equity, Diversity, and Intercultural Programs

Added visiting hours:

  • Fri., Oct. 11, 3:30–4:30 p.m. in the Multi-Ethnic Resource Center Lounge
  • Tues., Oct. 15, 11:40 a.m.–12:40 p.m. in the Resource Center for Gender, Women, and Sexuality Lounge, lower level of the Multi-Ethnic Resource Center

For faculty and staff: Becca Gercken, chief diversity officer

Added visiting hours:

  • Tues., Oct. 15 from 4:15–5:15 p.m., Humanities 204
  • Thurs., Oct. 17, 11:40 a.m.–12:40 p.m., Humanities 204

 

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me about our campus climate and for your candid feedback. I appreciate what so many of you, as members of our community, have done and will do to continue building an inclusive community. 

 

Michelle

 

In consultation with Sandy Olson-Loy, Elizabeth (liz) Thomson, Becca Gercken, and Adrienne Conley