Campus Bias Communications

Communications sent to the campus in response to bias reports will be posted to this page.

Campus Update 11/24/20

Dear Community Members of Stowe,

On Tuesday, November 17th, there was a bias-related incident where an unidentified person/s vandalized a bulletin board located on the second floor stairwell of side of Stowe with apartments ending on 05-08. The bulletin board provided information about diversity related resources at UConn with the titled “_____ Lives Matter” with various marginalized identity groups listed below the line including Black, LGBTQ+, Hispanic, and Disabled (in reference to persons with disabilities). An unidentified person/s filled in the title with the word “Blue” to make the board read “Blue Lives Matter”.

When situations like this occur, it is important to not only take a stand against the bias action, but also to educate on why the incident can be viewed as offensive and harmful. The statement “Blue Lives Matter” negatively impacts marginalized groups, with a specific emphasis on the black community. Professional staff members from Residence Life are currently building an interactive resource page and brief assessment form for any student to learn more about concepts related to the Black Lives Matter movement. The resource page and assessment form will be sent to the community at the beginning of December. We invite you all to engage with these resources to promote constructive dialogue with other community members.

Article: “Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter Explained” by the Landmark
https://www.landmarkschool.org/landmark360/black-lives-matter-and-blue-lives-matter-explained

This is only one perspective on how the statement “Blue Lives Matter” can be harmful to marginalized groups, especially towards the black community. We believe it is crucial to be informed about these difficult topics without judgment or persecution. Although we may stray away from these difficult conversations, we must engage in discourse and further our understanding of various identity groups to strive for equity and inclusion in our communities.

Definition of Bias-Related Incident:
A bias-related incident is an incident that negatively targets, intimidates, or threatens an individual or group due to race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities, as well as past/present history of mental disorders. This includes, but is not limited to, graffiti or images that harass or intimidate individuals or groups due to the above characteristics.

We hope that the person(s) responsible for this behavior will choose to make a different decision in the future. If there is anything our staff can do to assist you, please feel free to contact the Hall Directors of Hilltop Apartments with the information below. We are more than willing to meet with you individually should you want to discuss the incident. Thank you all for your time and I look forward to discussing this further with anyone interested.

Hilltop Apartments Hall Director Contact Information:
• Troy Gonsalves: Email: troy.gonsalves@uconn.edu Phone: (860) 486-5983
• Anabelle McDonald: Email: anabelle.mcdonald@uconn.edu Phone: (860) 207-5138
• Sydney Wein: Email: sydney.wein@uconn.edu Phone: (860) 207-5086

Best,

Troy Gonsalves, Anabelle McDonald, and Sydney Wein

Message to the UConn Community 11/24/20

Sent on Behalf of UConn President Thomas Katsouleas; Chief Diversity Officer Franklin Tuitt; and Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Gilbert

--

To the UConn Community:

Last night, several incidents of vandalism occurred to property on the Storrs campus. In addition to other disrespectful graffiti, “Danny Fast Hands” was partially spray-painted over the “Black Lives Matter” mural on the Spirit Rock.

UConn Police quickly identified and arrested two individuals who have been charged with committing the vandalism, neither of whom have a known affiliation with the University.

Although the content of the vandalism did not target a specific individual or group, we are still troubled that this defacement marred a symbol of community and the current expression of support for members of our University.

The Spirit Rock is an important campus tradition and the rock painting policy has been updated to exemplify our promise to holding those who violate our university values and standards accountable.

Sincerely,

Tom, Frank and Michael

--

Thomas Katsouleas, President

Franklin Tuitt, Chief Diversity Officer

Michael Gilbert, Vice President for Student Affairs

 

Campus Update 11/2/20

Dear Community Members of Garrigus,

On Thursday, October 29th, there was a bias-related incident where an unidentified person/s vandalized a bulletin board in the main lobby of Garrigus which had the statement Black Lives Matter. In this case, the word Black was torn down leaving the words Lives Matter. At the University of Connecticut we strive to create a safe and inclusive community for all students.

You are invited to join members of our community for a meeting on Wednesday, November 4th, at 8pm via WebEx to discuss the impact of this incident and how we will continue to work together to promote an environment of productive dialogue in which individuals and groups of people aren’t hurt or harmed. The link to this meeting will be sent out via email 15 minutes prior to the meeting.

When situations like this occur, it is important to not only take a stand against the bias action, but also to educate on why the incident can be viewed as offensive and harmful. Please find the video link provided below and an infographic from the State of the Dream report for you viewing consideration. The State of the Dream report is constructed by members of the United for a Fair Economy (UFE) foundation, and their goal is to create education, trainings, and creative communication to support social movements to increase equity across the United States democracy. The infographic included gives statistical and meaningful context of the social inequity the Black Live Matter movement was founded to fight against within the U.S. economic system.

 What’s wrong with saying “all lives matter”?  | Black Lives Matter (Short, 2 minute video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s29qACe0mEA

This is only one perspective on the national Black Lives Matter Vs All Lives Matter debate. We believe it is crucial to have an open dialogue about these difficult topics without judgment or persecution. Although we may stray away from these difficult conversations, we must engage in discourse that strives for equity and understanding in our communities. As the Garrigus Hall Director, I am committed to the education and well-being of the members of our community. I will be offering individual virtual meetings to any resident of Garrigus who want to learn more about and engage in civil discourse about this topic. My contact information will be at the bottom of this email for anyone who is interested in contacting me.

A bias-related incident is an incident that negatively targets, intimidates, or threatens an individual or group due to race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities, as well as past/present history of mental disorders. This includes, but is not limited to, graffiti or images that harass or intimidate individuals or groups due to the above characteristics.  

We hope that the person(s) responsible for this behavior will choose to make a different decision in the future.  If there is anything myself or the Garrigus staff can do to assist you, please feel free to contact me at the Garrigus Hall Director Office: 860-207-3956 or via email jeffrey.benike@uconn.edu. Thank you all for your time and I look forward to discussing this further with anyone interested.

 Best,
Jeff Benike

Jeffrey Benike, M.S.
he.him.his

Residence Hall Director - Garrigus Suites

Department of Residential Life

O: 860.486.3448

C: 860.207.3956

jeffrey.benike@uconn.edu

Denouncing Acts of Anti-Semitism – 10/30/20

Dear UConn Community,

Our University is committed to an environment that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Recent reports of a series of anti-Semitic incidents on our Storrs campus undermine that goal. We denounce in the strongest terms acts of violence, hate, and intimidation aimed at members of our Jewish community.

These recent reports were all acts of physical damage to property, including swastika graffiti. These are undeniable symbols of antisemitism that elicit painful reminders of the Holocaust among our Jewish students, faculty, and staff. These acts and other discriminatory acts this semester are deeply upsetting and leave a scar on members of our community whose beliefs or identities are targeted. No student or employee should be subjected to harassment based on their religious beliefs, nor their race, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, national origin, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

We rely on each member of our community to help us foster an environment that is welcoming and safe for all of us. Our University policies set forth expectations of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, which are outlined in our policy against harassment, discrimination, and related interpersonal violence. Violations can result in discipline up to and including separation from the University.

Another important measure anyone at UConn can take is to report bias incidents at our new site, inform.uconn.edu. We created this site to make it easier for any employee or student at UConn to submit a report and find additional resources. Your reports also help University leaders identify potential problem areas, giving us the opportunity to address issues more proactively.

The recent acts of anti-Semitism happened in South Campus and were investigated using our bias response protocol with a focus on the residential community where the acts of hatred took place. After each incident the Residential Life staff reached out to the impacted parties to offer support and provided messages to the community, which are posted on the Dean of Students Office’s website.

UConn staff are actively engaged in conversations with the members of the Hillel community to plan an event to be held the week of Nov. 9 to address these concerns and work toward healing. Details of the upcoming event including date and time will be available next week, posted in the Daily Digest. These acts of hatred have no home on our campus and we will continue to work to support the members of our community, particularly UConn Huskies of the Jewish faith who have been directly impacted.

Unfortunately, we have no shortage of events that demonstrate the destruction that can result from religious intolerance, from as nearby as the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh to recent religiously motivated attacks in Paris. As a public research university, UConn holds a responsibility to lead the way in promoting mutual understanding and repudiating intolerance.

Sincerely,

Tom Katsouleas

President

Carl Lejuez

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Franklin Tuitt

Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

Campus Update 10/28/20

Dear South Campus Resident,

I am writing to notify our community of a third incident of bias vandalism that has occurred in our halls. Today, I received notification about an incident of biased vandalism on October 25, 2020. The individual(s) responsible targeted a cultural celebration bulletin board in Wilson Hall, tearing down images of a menorah and kinara.

This behavior has gone too far. It is reprehensible that this pattern remains in our community and has not only continued to target individuals in the Jewish community but now, also, individuals within the Black and African American Communities. To the individual(s) responsible, this behavior has to stop. Your actions are inexcusable and unacceptable.

First, I want to commend our community members. Although these incidents have recurred in our area, I know they do not represent who we are. Out of the three incidents that have occurred, two reports came from residents in our community. Individuals who dared to recognize these incidents were not in line with our values AND chose to act. If anyone else has information regarding this situation, I encourage you to reach out.

We are committed to getting to the bottom of this and holding those responsible accountable. We are also committed to supporting you, our students. Residential Life is currently connecting with our campus partners at Hillel and the African American Cultural Center to create opportunities for education, engagement, and dialogue regarding these identity groups. Please stay tuned for more information.

Now, here is where you come in. If you are in any way impacted, I urge you to join us in disrupting the narrative that events such as these create about our community. We can disprove these notions of intolerance by showing up in allyship to events, initiatives, and programs that uplift our underrepresented communities. Partner with us, show up, and participate. Let's demonstrate that South Campus is a community of acceptance and inclusion.

Sincerely,
Yomarie Diaz
Residence Hall Director, South Campus
Department of Residential Life

Campus Update 10/17/20

I am aware of and concerned by recent hateful acts directed at others based on religion and identity – all of them anonymous, which is telling.  Defacing a student’s white board, for example, with anti-Semitic language is reprehensible, like the racist zoom bombing we witnessed earlier this year. I know it does not reflect the values of the vast majority of our community – but it should not happen at all.  While it does not eliminate the harm that is done, I want to thank students and other leaders for speaking out against such acts and in support of our community, and the staff who immediately reach out directly to impacted students when incidents like this are reported.  I want to add my support for the communities that have been assaulted and my assurances that when we are able to identify who is responsible for acts that are harmful we will continue to explore all available avenues to hold them accountable.

 

Thomas Katsouleas

President, University of Connecticut

Campus Update 10/9/20

Hello, McMahon South 7!

My name is Jacob Nathaniel. In my role as a Residence Hall Director, I am responsible for ensuring that the On-Campus Housing Contract and Student Code of Conduct are upheld within our hall. Last night, I received a report that inappropriate language was used on your floor that is not consistent with our University community values. The language used was disparaging to multiple protected identities and the incident is currently being investigated with the involved parties.

While the University investigates this incident, I understand that the language used could have been heard by others on the floor and could have had an impact on you. I invite you to attend a virtual meeting with me at 4:00 PM on Monday, October 12, 2020. At this meeting, we will discuss the standards we expect our students to adhere to while attending the University of Connecticut, how to report instances that you believe do not fit within the policies and procedures of the University, and discuss ways to seek support if needed. While all of this likely sounds heavy, I also hope to use this as an opportunity to connect with each of you and seek opportunities to further support you. A WebEx invite will be sent to each of you.

In addition to the meeting scheduled on Monday, you are more than welcome to stop by for my 'virtual office hours' that I have planned for your floor. These hours will take place from 3:30 - 5:00 PM on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 for anybody who wants to connect one-on-one or needs to further process. You can access my office hours during the scheduled time by following this link: https://uconn-cmr.webex.com/meet/jnj16101

If none of these options work for you and you would still like to connect, please reach out to me and I would be happy to meet with you individually! I hope that each of you are doing well and look forward to speaking with some of you next week.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jacob Nathaniel, M.A.

Residence Hall Director, McMahon Hall

University of Connecticut

Campus Update 10/9/20

Dear Residents of Rosebrooks Hall, 

On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, there was an incident of Anti-Semitic vandalism in Rosebrooks Hall. At the University of Connecticut we strive to create a safe and inclusive community for all students. 

If you would like to process through this incident, please join my virtual office hours on Tuesday, October 13 from, 9 am to 10 am and Thursday, October 15 from, 11 am to 12pm. We can discuss the impact of this incident and how we will continue to work together to promote an environment of productive dialogue in which individuals and groups of people aren't hurt or harmed. Join using this link: https://uconn-cmr.webex.com/meet/yod09001. 

A bias-related incident is an incident that negatively targets, intimidates, or threatens an individual or group due to race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities, as well as past/present history of mental disorders. This includes, but is not limited to, graffiti or images that harass or intimidate individuals or groups due to the above characteristics. 

The University of Connecticut values the freedom all members of our community have to express their opinions. It is only through such an environment that the educational values of our institution can be attained and our community can thoughtfully engage in the continual discourse that is necessary for the process of discovery and the creation of new knowledge. 

While free expression is important in having productive dialogue, the University acts when harm occurs to members of our community. In January of 2015, the University developed its Bias Response Protocol to support students who experience an incident that either is or appears to be bias-related. Such incidents are addressed through UConn's Student Code of Conduct, UConn Police, or restorative conversations within the impacted community. 

You are part of this residential community. As such, we ask that you assist us in preventing further incidents of this nature by following these steps: 

  • Hold your peers accountable for the decisions they choose to make. 
  • Maintain responsibility for your actions and the actions of any guests that you choose to bring into the community as per our guest policy. 
  • Be an active bystander! If you see something like this happening, please let a staff member know. This can be your RA, Residence Hall Director, UConn Police, the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Institutional Equity, the Office of Community Standards or the Office of Residential Life. 
  • Utilize the newly launched www.inform.uconn.edu site to report concerns and to understand what happens when you submit a report. 

We hope that the person(s) responsible for this behavior will choose to make a different decision in the future. If there is anything our staff can do to assist you, please feel free to contact us at 860-486-6964 or yomarie.diaz@uconn.edu. 

Please visit the additional resources for support and education on this topic: 

  • UConn Hillel: https://www.uconnhillel.org/ 
  • Chabad at UConn: https://www.jewishuconn.com/ 

 

Respectfully, 

Yomarie Diaz 

Residence Hall Director, South Campus 

Department of Residential Life 

University of Connecticut 

Campus Update 9/25/20

To the UConn Community:

As you know, last weekend the word “Black,” in the “Black Lives Matter” message that was painted on the Spirit Rock on the Storrs campus was scratched out and replaced with “All,” altering the statement to read “All Lives Matter.”

We write to share an update: After reviewing the incident, including video footage in which the license plate of the individual responsible was visible, the university determined that the person has no known current connection to UConn – meaning they are not a student or an employee – and they do not live in Mansfield.

While we are relieved that the person responsible is not a member of our community, that doesn’t change what took place, which we saw as an unmistakable attempt to antagonize and demean people on our campuses, especially in the context of national events. We deeply regret the harm that this incident has had on members of our community.

After consulting with the state’s attorney’s office, it was determined that this harmful act didn’t constitute a crime under state statute and no charges would apply. Even so, painting the Spirit Rock is a campus tradition that is intended solely for UConn students and student organizations. We will update our policy on the rock to reflect this. While that by itself won’t prevent something similar from happening, it is our hope that it will give the university greater leverage in addressing it.

Sincerely,

Franklin Tuitt, VP & Chief Diversity Officer

Michael Gilbert, VP for Student Affairs

Campus Update 9/24/20

Dear Residents of Buckley Hall,
On Wednesday, September 23, 2020 there was a bias-related incident where a verbal comment was overhead in the parking lot outside of Buckley Hall. The phrase contained language that targets an individual’s sexual orientation. At the University of Connecticut, we strive to create a safe and inclusive community for all students.
A bias-related incident is an incident that negatively targets, intimidates or threatens an individual or group due to race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities, as well as past/present history of mental disorders. This includes, but is not limited to, graffiti or images that harass or intimidate individuals or groups due to the above characteristics.
While free expression is important, the University acts when harm occurs to members of our community. In January 2015, the University developed its Bias Response Protocol to support students who experience an incident that either is or appears to be bias-related. Such incidents are addressed through UConn’s Student Code of Conduct, UConn Police, or restorative conversations within the impacted community.
You are part of this residential community. As such, we ask that you assist us in preventing further incidents of this nature by following these steps:
1) Hold your peers accountable for the decisions they choose to make.
2) Maintain responsibility for your actions and the actions of any guests that you choose to bring into the community as per our guest policy.
3) Be an active bystander. If you see something like this happening, please let a staff member know. This can be your RA, Hall Director, UConn Police, the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Institutional Equity, the Office of Community Standards or the Office of Residential Life.
We hope that the person/persons responsible for this behavior will choose to make a different decision in the future. If there is anything our staff can do to assist you, please feel free to contact us. You can always reach someone by calling the RA on-duty at 860-933-5831 or calling the Shippee Office at 860-486-3709.
I will be holding open office hours via WebEx on Friday, September 25th from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM and from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM if anyone wants to come and discuss the incident and/or would like to process the event. You can join my office hours by clicking on this link: https://uconn-cmr.webex.com/meet/jen15102.
Thank you for your help in creating a positive and inclusive environment in our community. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Best,
Jen
Jen Napiorski
she.her.hers
Residence Hall Director, Buckley and Shippee Hall

Campus Update 9/21/20

Dear Residents of fourth floor Vinton/Beecher,

On Friday, September 18th, there was a bias-related incident where unidentified person/s vandalized a poster board with messages that read “BLM is a joke… [you] funny tho” and “Bin Laden the GOAT #BLM” in your community. At the University of Connecticut, we strive to create a safe and inclusive community for all students.

You are invited to join members of our community for a meeting on Wednesday, September 23rd , at 8pm via WebEx to discuss the impact of this incident and how we will continue to work together to promote an environment of productive dialogue in which individuals and groups of people aren’t hurt or harmed. The link to the meeting will be sent via email 10 minutes prior to the meeting.

When situations like this occur, it is important to understand why the incident can be viewed as offensive. We would like to provide you with a video for your viewing consideration.

What's wrong with saying "all lives matter"? | Black Lives Matter (2+ minute video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s29qACe0mEA

This is one perspective on the Black Lives Matter Vs All Lives Matter debate. We think it is important to have conversations about difficult topics like this without judgement. We understand that people with differing opinions might stray away from these conversations. Because of our commitment to educating our residents, the Towers Hall Directors are offering individual virtual meetings to residents who want to learn more about this and want to engage in civil discourse about the topic in individual meetings. Please note the contact information at the end of this email to reach out to a Hall Director if you are interested.

A bias-related incident is an incident that negatively targets, intimidates, or threatens an individual or group due to race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities, as well as past/present history of mental disorders. This includes, but is not limited to, graffiti or images that harass or intimidate individuals or groups due to the above characteristics.

The University of Connecticut values the freedom all members of our community have to express their opinions. It is only through such an environment that the educational values of our institution can be attained and our community can thoughtfully engage in the continual discourse that is necessary for the process of discovery and the creation of new knowledge.

While free expression is important in having productive dialogue, the University acts when harm occurs to members of our community. In January of 2015, the University developed its Bias Response Protocol to support students who experience an incident that either is or appears to be bias-related. Such incidents are addressed through UConn’s Student Code of Conduct, UConn Police, or restorative conversations within the impacted community.

You are part of this residential community. As such, we ask that you assist us in preventing further incidents of this nature by following these steps:

  1. Hold your peers accountable for the decisions they choose to make.
  2. Maintain responsibility for your actions and the actions of any guests that you choose to bring into the community as per our guest policy.
  3. Be an active bystander! If you see something like this happening, please let a staff member know. This can be your RA, Residence Hall Director, UConn Police, the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Institutional Equity, the Office of Community Standards or the Office of Residential Life.

We hope that the person(s) responsible for this behavior will choose to make a different decision in the future. If there is anything our staff can do to assist you, please feel free to contact us at the Towers Hall Director Office: 860-933-2220 or via email joseph.revander@uconn.edu, daryl.yingling@uconn.edu, victor.osorio@uconn.edu.

 

Best,

Victor Osorio

Residence Hall Director

Pronouns: He/Him/His

University of Connecticut

Department of Residential Life

Campus Update 9/13/20

Dear Residents of Garrigus,
On 9/13/2020 there was a bias related incident in Garrigus where someone said a racial slur to a member of our Garrigus community. At the University of Connecticut, we strive to create a safe and inclusive community for all students, and this type of behavior goes directly against the values we hold as a community.
A bias-related incident is an incident that negatively targets, intimidates, or threatens an individual or group due to race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities, as well as past/present history of mental disorders. This includes, but is not limited to, graffiti or images that harass or intimidate individuals or groups due to the above characteristics.
The University of Connecticut values the freedom all members of our community have to express their opinions. It is only through such an environment that the educational values of our institution can be attained and our community can thoughtfully engage in the continual discourse that is necessary for the process of discovery and the creation of new knowledge.
While free expression is important in having productive dialogue, the University acts when harm occurs to members of our community. In January of 2015, the University developed its Bias Response Protocol to support students who experience an incident that either is or appears to be bias-related. Such incidents are addressed through UConn’s Student Code of Conduct, UConn Police, or restorative conversations within the impacted community.
You are part of this residential community. As such, we ask that you assist us in preventing further incidents of this nature by following these steps:
1. Hold your peers accountable for the decisions they choose to make.
2. Maintain responsibility for your actions and the actions of any guests that you choose to bring into the community as per our guest policy.
3. Be an active bystander! If you see something like this happening, please let a staff member know. This can be your RA, Residence Hall Director, UConn Police, the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Institutional Equity, the Office of Community Standards or the Office of Residential Life.
We hope that the person(s) responsible for this behavior will choose to make a different decision in the future. If there is anything our staff can do to assist you, please feel free to contact your RA via email or myself directly at jeffrey.benike@uconn.edu. Thank you and enjoy your weekend.
Sincerely,

Jeff Benike
Jeffrey Benike, M.S.
he.him.his
Residence Hall Director - Garrigus Suites

Campus Update 8/27/20

Dear Residents of West Campus,

On the night of 8/20/2020 there was an incident of someone shouting numerous times, “you stole my stuff n***a” outside our community of Lancaster Hall. At the University of Connecticut, we strive to create a safe and inclusive community for all students.

A bias-related incident is an incident that negatively targets, intimidates, or threatens an individual or group due to race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities, as well as past/present history of mental disorders. This includes, but is not limited to, graffiti or images that harass or intimidate individuals or groups due to the above characteristics.

The University of Connecticut values the freedom all members of our community have to express their opinions. It is only through such an environment that the educational values of our institution can be attained and our community can thoughtfully engage in the continual discourse that is necessary for the process of discovery and the creation of new knowledge.

While free expression is important in having productive dialogue, the University acts when harm occurs to members of our community. In January of 2015, the University developed its Bias Response Protocol to support students who experience an incident that either is or appears to be bias-related. Such incidents are addressed through UConn’s Student Code of Conduct, UConn Police, or restorative conversations within the impacted community.

You are part of this residential community. As such, we ask that you assist us in preventing further incidents of this nature by following these steps:

  1. Hold your peers accountable for the decisions they choose to make.
  2. Maintain responsibility for your actions and the actions of any guests that you choose to bring into the community as per our guest policy.
  3. Be an active bystander! If you see something like this happening, please let a staff member know. This can be your RA, Residence Hall Director, UConn Police, the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Institutional Equity, the Office of Community Standards or the Office of Residential Life.

We hope that the person(s) responsible for this behavior will choose to make a different decision in the future. If there is anything our staff can do to assist you, please feel free to contact us by emailing your RA, calling the RA on Duty at 860-420-8171 or emailing myself, the West Hall Director at christopher.eimerman@uconn.edu.

 

Christopher Eimerman

He, Him, His

West Campus Hall Director

Department of Residential Life

University of Connecticut

A Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion at UConn

Subject: A Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion at UConn

The following message is being sent from Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Eleanor JB Daugherty and Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Frank Tuitt:

The beginning of the academic year is a time when we are reminded of the uniqueness of our UConn community.  We are proud that UConn is a place where people are able to learn about and appreciate the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of all of our students.

Over the course of the past several months, we experienced the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—economic insecurity, loss of life, and uncertainty about the future. As a nation, we witnessed the brutal murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery.  This dehumanization of Black people and the senseless violence against people of color are not new. However, the documentation of these killings prompted some of the largest demonstrations in U.S. history against White supremacy, systemic oppression and anti-Black racism. In these unprecedented times, we more than ever need to be intentional about creating spaces for our community to be able process these experiences, learn about the history and impact of such events while holding each other accountable for the harmful behaviors that contradict an antiracist and inclusive environment.

As a university community, we must embrace the expression of varied opinions while also insisting that expression occur in an environment of mutual respect.  The exchange of ideas that occurs throughout our community creates a spirit of dialogue that is not only welcome, but absolutely necessary on university campuses like UConn in order to offer the most engaging and vibrant educational experience to our students. It is through inquiry, the exploration of ideas, and exposure to opinions and opportunities that are new to us that UConn is able to thrive as an academic community in ways that are both challenging and rewarding. This allows us to grow, increase awareness, and inspire change in a complex world.

To facilitate such an environment, our students need to feel empowered and equipped to engage in healthy and effective dialogue on issues such as racial justice, equity, and systemic racism. Consequently, we continue to provide opportunities for our students to learn about and participate in programming that would promote an inclusive and equitable community. For example, the Welcome to the Pack video-based module provides critical information about bias, microaggressions, prejudice, and stereotypes.

It is the responsibility of all of us to steward these values throughout the course of our experience at UConn and beyond.   Through our collective efforts, UConn remains a home for discovery that enables us to fulfill our mission for our students as well as for our state, the nation, and the world.

While free expression is important in having productive dialogue, the University acts when harm occurs to members of our community.  In January of 2015, the University developed its Bias Response Protocol to support students who experience an incident that either is or appears to be bias-related.  Such incidents are shared with the University of Connecticut Police Department and the Office of Community Standards to review for possible criminal and/or violations of  the The Student Code.

In the past academic year, 82 bias referrals were made and all were reviewed by the University.  A summary of the complaints is exhibited here:

Please note that the previous chart reflects all forms of bias reported to the University.  This chart reflects incidents that may be reported twice because two or more actions occurred.

UConn is committed to being one of the world’s leading institutions by encouraging the expression of ideas within a highly diverse community of scholars and students.  We welcome the voices of our students in this important work, and we look forward to another successful academic year.

Best,

Eleanor JB Daugherty
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

Frank Tuitt
Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer