Campus Bias Communications

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

Bias Response Communication academic year 2022-2023

Recent Bias Incidents and Follow Up Alumni Quad – 11/21/22

Subject: Recent Bias Incidents and Follow Up Alumni Quad

Dear Residents of Alumni Quad,

On Sunday, October 30, 2022, it was reported to Residential Life staff that a bulletin board on LGBTQIA+ History Month was ripped down in Eddy Hall. There was also another concern from the same weekend brought forward involving a separate bulletin board on the same topic being vandalized, stating that LGBT stands for “Liberty, Guns, Beer, and Trump.” We wanted to make you all aware that investigations into these matters did take place. These types of behaviors are directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving to create a safe and inclusive community for all students.

As a reminder, 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.

This is not the first time a bias incident has been reported in our community. The behaviors displayed in these repeated incidents are unacceptable and must cease immediately. It is an expectation at the University of Connecticut and this community that students be responsible for the impact of their individual actions and intervene when harmful behaviors are witnessed that threaten the inclusivity of our community. This includes situations where there isn't malicious intent behind words or actions. We are committed to addressing these behaviors.

The Alumni Quad HDs will be hosting a community meeting at 3:30pm on December 1, 2022, in the Watson M-Lounge to discuss how we can move forward for the rest of this semester and Spring 2023. At this meeting, residents will have the opportunity to have their voices heard. While this is not mandatory, we do expect that you all have an active part in building an inclusive community and hope that you can come to support members of your community who may have been negatively impacted by any incidents. 

As you move forward in immersing yourself into the community, please keep in mind that these actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: hold your peers accountable for their decisions; if you see something, say something. You can report things to RAs or the Hall Directors. We urge you to join us in disrupting the narrative that events such as these create about our community. We can disprove any negative narratives of our community by showing up as an ally to events, initiatives, and programs that uplift our underrepresented communities. Partner with us, show up, and participate. Let's show that Alumni Quad is a community of acceptance and inclusion.

If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form

Best,

Jeffon Stubbs, Residence Hall Director

Mitchell Davis, Residence Hall Director

The Alumni Quad Staff

Community Follow Up Alumni/Belden 4th Floor- 11/8/22

Subject: Community Follow Up Alumni/Belden 4th Floor

Dear Residents of Belden 4th Floor,  

Throughout this past semester, several incidents have occurred that have caused great concern for the welfare of the community.  On October 7th, I reached out to the community via email to discuss how pranks such as ding-dong-ditch could be disruptive to the floor and that we should be striving to maintain an engaged, respectful, and civil atmosphere.

Since that email, more incidents have occurred which reflect that community members are not being mindful of their noise levels, respectful of others’ personal space, or invested in living in harmony. Banging on doors, barging into others’ rooms, yelling at floormates, and devising retaliatory pranks are all uncalled for and unacceptable. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving to create a safe and inclusive community for all students.   

Although the parties directly involved have been spoken to individually, I wanted to reach out to the community as a whole to encourage us all to continue to take an intentional and active part in building our community. This includes interacting with each other in a cordial manner, being mindful of our choices that affect others on the floor (for example, our noise levels), and also holding peers accountable when we see/hear of something that does not align with our shared values as a community.   

 I hope that we all continue to persist in excellence and enthusiasm as it relates to academic, extracurricular, and residential life here at UConn. It is a pleasure to be coexisting here with you, and I want to ensure that we are maximizing our potential to thrive together and make the most of this school year.

 Please know that your RA, Cristina, and I are continual resources of support and guidance if you need assistance or have any questions/concerns. I look forward to finishing off this semester strongly and with an abundance of respect for each other.

 Thank you for your time and partnership!

 Best,

Jeffon

Jeffon Stubbs

Residence Hall Director - Alumni Quad

Department of Residential Life

Office: Watson Hall Room 102

Phone: 860-486-0840

 

 

Community notice: Disruptive knocking behavior must stop – 11/3/22

Subject: Community notice: Disruptive knocking behavior must stop

Hello Hale residents,

Throughout this semester, there has been an issue of individuals knocking on, slamming, or kicking doors to others’ rooms, seemingly to be disruptive to the residents of the rooms targeted. This has occurred at different times throughout the day, including late at night and early in the morning.

This behavior must stop.

The people who are participating may not think much of it, but the residents who are being impacted have been losing sleep, been distracted while studying or taking tests, and it has been brought to my attention recently that the physical health of some community members has been impacted from being startled by these behaviors. As a part of the UConn community, it is our mission to build, create and cultivate an inclusive environment that is kind and welcoming to everyone and these actions have made some students feel targeted and unwelcome.

If you have been engaging in this behavior, stop it. If you know who has been engaging in this behavior, or you see someone doing it, tell them to stop, or report them to me or an RA.

As we look to creating an inclusive community, lets continue to build on the respect and kindness that we show to others. You all deserve to be able to sleep, study, and live in your rooms without disruption or fear of the people that we live with. Should this behavior persist, we will be conducting further investigation and holding those folks accountable. As always should you need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or your RA.

-Veronica

Veronica Roberts

Residence Hall Director

Hilltop Halls

University of Connecticut

Department of Residential Life

She/Her/Hers

Office Phone: 860-486-5574

Email: veronica.roberts@uconn.edu

 

Rogers Hall – Important Community Information – 10/27/22

Subject: Rogers Hall - Important Community Information

October 27th, 2022

Dear Residents of Rogers,

Recently an incident occurred which was impactful for residents of your building and we would like to offer resources to the community.

This incident included vandalism on the bulletin boards that were themed around Hispanic Heritage Month. Letters and information were removed, which was concerning. If you were impacted by this incident or have more information about it, please reach out to me (victoria.clark@uconn.edu) and Susie Scarbeck (susie.scarbeck@uconn.edu).

As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors:

  • Hold your peers accountable for their decisions
  • If you see something, say something- to your RA or your Hall Director
  • Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate inappropriate acts within your community.
  • If you encounter any bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Let's demonstrate that Northwest is a community of acceptance and inclusion. If there is anything our staff can do to assist you, please feel free to contact us.

    Best,

    Victoria 

    Victoria N. Clark, M.Ed.

    She/Her/Hers

    Residence Hall Director - Northwest Quadrangle

    Department of Residential Life

    Phone: 860-486-0946

    Ongoing Community Issues – 10/27/22

    Subject: Ongoing Community Issues

    Hello 4 South,

    Over the course of the Fall Semester there has been many bias related incidents happening in the 4 South 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.

    Unfortunately, there has been a continuation of vandalism also happening on the floor. Due to these events, we will be having a floor meeting on Tuesday November 1st at 8:00pm in the Buckley South Lounge. I would encourage you to come to this meeting to help process through these events and discuss ways in which you all can be active bystanders in the community to Buckley 4 South a safe and inclusive environment.

    If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to me.

    Thank you and I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.

    Monica Mordowanec

    she.her.hers

    Hall Director

    Buckley/Shippee

    University of Connecticut

    860-486-3709

    Monica.Mordowanec@uconn.edu

     

    Bias Related Incident: Lafayette Hall – 10/17/22

    Subject: Bias Related Incident: Lafayette Hall

    Dear Residents of Lafayette Hall,

    On Saturday, September 24, 2022, there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature. Students personal whiteboards were vandalized with derogatory language targeting the LGBTQIA community. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.

    We expect that you will all have an active part in building an inclusive community by helping us disrupt the ​narrative that events such as these create in our community. We can disprove these notions of intolerance by showing up in allyship to events that uplift and support each other. Although this incident has occurred in our area, I know they do not represent who we are as a community.

    The RA and HD staff will be creating a poster campaign to highlight opportunities for growth and education for the residents of Lafayette Hall. This poster will explain the importance of living in an inclusive environment and it will provide resources you can find on campus to educate yourself and others as well. When you see these, I encourage you to have conversations with your RAs and fellow community members about how to be an ally while creating a safe and positive community.

    As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions, including vandalism in our community, have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decision; If you see something, whether it is bias or vandalism, say something to your RA, or your Hall Director. Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community.

    If anyone has any additional information about this specific incident, please reach out to myself Jen Napiorski at jennifer.napiorski@uconn.edu or Steve Taylor at Stephen.taylor@uconn.edu.

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Best,

    Towers HD Team

    Jen Napiorski

    she.her.hers

    Assistant Director of Residence Education

    University of Connecticut

    860-486-8920

    Jennifer.Napiorski@uconn.edu

     

    Addressing Bias and Theft within our Community – 10/6/22

    Subject: Addressing Bias and Theft within our Community

    Hello Third Floor Community,

    It has been brought to our attention that there have been a few instances of theft within the community. While under no circumstance is this acceptable and is a direct violation of the housing contract, one of the incidents was identified to be bias related in nature. The university treats actions like this as bias-related incidents.

    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.

    As members of the University of Connecticut and residents of the Engineering LC and La Comunidad Intelectual, we expect that you all understand that it is important to create an environment that supports diversity, equity, inclusion, and above all else safety. You have a responsibility as community members to uphold theses values and the mission of the university as we continue to live together.

    Lastly, please understand that we take these matters seriously and encourage you all to speak up when things of this nature happen within the community. Your voices, your stories, your perspectives, they all matter and are valuable so please share them with us with confidence knowing that we will support you the best we can. As you move forward in immersing yourself into the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors:

    • Hold your peers accountable for their decision
    • If you see something, say something. To your RA, or your Hall Director
    • Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form.  https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Thank you,

    Josue, Jasmine, & Shannon

    Sent by Shannon Healey via Roompact

    North Community Inclusive Language Poster – 10/6/22

    The following poster was shared with the North Community:

    North Community Inclusive Language Poster

    Community Meeting Follow Up and Recap – 9/29/22

    Subject: Community Meeting Follow Up and Recap

    Hello Terry 3rd Floor,

    Thank you for attending the Community Meeting on Tuesday and sharing your perspectives on the incident that took place. I was glad to hear that you all are continuing to support those affected by this incident and are committed to creating an inclusive community.

    For those that were not able to attend, a brief overview of the meeting is provided below.

    To begin the meeting, we discussed the definition of a bias incident and the incident that took place on the floor. A bias incident is any 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. In this instance, individual(s) targeted the LGBTQIA+ community by writing inappropriate and offensive comments on a whiteboard.

    I explained that when a bias incident is reported, a Bias Facilitator from Residential Life meets with all of the identified involved parties including those impacted, those who committed the bias incident, if known, and any witnesses who may have been present. The Bias Facilitator then reaches out to the Hall Directors to discuss any follow up that may be necessary and develop a Bias Response Plan. I shared that due to confidentiality, I could not share all of the specifics of the incident, but would share permitted, relevant information.

    I then opened the floor for anyone to share and process their thoughts and feelings regarding the incident and how it may have impacted the sense of community on the floor. It was stated that many of you have spoken amongst yourselves about this incident and processed it as a group. It was also shared that some of you have reached out to those whose whiteboard was vandalized to share support and let them know that this kind of behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated on your floor. A few of you shared that your primary concern was making sure that no one felt unsafe and/or unwelcome anywhere on campus, but especially their own residence hall.

    I asked if anyone had any questions about the incident or bias response in general, or any information they would like to share. At the time of the meeting, no one had anything else to add. However, if you do have something you'd like to ask about or information to provide, please do not hesitate to reach out.

    Lastly, I discussed the importance of creating an inclusive and respectful environment and how this is outlined in our Student Code. I also spoke about resources available on campus for reporting bias incidents or seeking support. These resources are listed and linked below. There are also some additional resources that were not discussed in the meeting but may be beneficial.

    RA on Duty: (860) 933-4781

    Available from 7:00pm to 7:00am Monday - Friday, and 24 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday

    Northwest Hall Director Office: (860) 486-0946

    Available from 9:00am - 6:00pm Monday - Friday and located in Batterson Hall through an exterior entrance.

    Dean of Students Office: (860) 486-3426

    Located in Wilbur Cross - Room 203. Drop-in hours are each day from 1:00pm to 3:00pm or you can call to schedule an appointment.

    SHaW Mental Health: (860) 486-4705

    Located on the 4th floor of Arjona. Call before going in person to ensure that staff may best serve you.

    Cultural Centers/Programs

    Located in the Student Union

    African American Cultural Center: (860) 486-3433

    Asian American Cultural Center: (860) 486-0830

    Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC): (860) 486-1135

    Rainbow Center: (860) 486-5821

    Women's Center: (860) 486-4738

    Native American Cultural Programs: (860) 486-8453

    Middle Eastern Cultural Programs: (860) 486-3510

    UConn Police

    Emergencies: 911

    Non-Emergency: (860) 486-4800

    Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of the resources available to you. You are welcome and invited to utilize any of these resources for support, education, and to keep our community safe.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you all again for your time, participation, and commitment to an inclusive community.

    Best,

    Victoria

    Victoria N. Clark, M.Ed.

    She/Her/Hers

    Residence Hall Director - Northwest Quadrangle

    Department of Residential Life

    Phone: 860-486-0946

    Bias Related Incident in Garrigus Suites – 9/22/22

    Subject: Bias Related Incident in Garrigus Suites

    Dear Residents of Garrigus Suites,

    On September 4, 2022, there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature. The investigation into this matter has concluded and I wanted to be transparent about what occurred: A resident’s door was vandalized by someone taking a Puerto Rican flag from their door, as well as tearing down a flier for a Brazilian bake sale. When this resident confronted a group of students, who were possibly involved in this matter, in the hall, the unknown students played Spanish music as a way to get a reaction out of this resident. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.

    Below you will find some of the policies that are directly connected to this case. In the future please be mindful of how these actions can have a harmful impact on our community and how we can prevent them.

    Theft

    Conduct Rules and Regulations  

    As members of the University community, students and student organizations have a responsibility to uphold The Student Code as well as to adhere to federal, state, and local laws. The Director of Community Standards shall make the final determination on what constitutes a potential violation of The Student Code and shall establish the specific code violation(s) as appropriate. The following list of behaviors is intended to represent the types of acts that constitute violations of The Student Code. Although the list is extensive, it should not be regarded as all-inclusive. All community members are responsible for knowing and observing all University policies and procedures:

    • 14. Theft, which includes, but is not limited to, attempted or actual theft of property or services.

    Vandalism

    8.10.2 Writing, vandalism and alterations on/to doors is prohibited. If damages to the exterior surface of a room door occur due to vandalism, the Resident(s) must inform a hall staff member of the incident within 24-hours. This will enable the Resident to contest responsibility for the charges. If damages occur to common areas within buildings, such as lounges, bathrooms, lobby areas and responsibility cannot be ascertained, the damage charge can be assessed equally among the residents in the floor/building.

    Guests

    9.10.1 General Policies (applicable to all residential areas and facilities): Anyone not assigned to the specific room/suite/apartment/house is considered a guest. All guests must be escorted through the building by the Resident host. Resident hosts are responsible for the actions of their guests. Resident hosts are expected to take reasonable action to prevent guests from violating University policies. Resident hosts may be held accountable for behaviors and/or damages caused by the Residents’ guests. Residents should consult with the roommates/suitemates/apartmentmates/housemates when inviting guests. Residents must strictly respect the privacy of all fellow residents and fellow residents’ right to normal use of their assigned facilities.

    As we move forward in building a strong welcoming and inclusive community, keep in mind that we need to work together to ensure that all residents feel safe and supported by respecting each other’s differences and exercising common curtesy when engaging with one another. Small actions can have a major impact on the community. In future situations such as this, we can be proactive in the following ways: Hold your peers accountable for their decisions; If you see something, say something, whether that be to your RA or your Residence Hall Director. Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate these acts within your community; If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Lastly, if you would like to meet to discuss this or any other concerns, please feel free to contact me to set up an appointment.

    Respectfully,
    Sydney

    Sydney Wein, M.Ed.

    (she/her/hers)

    Residence Hall Director│Garrigus Suites

    Department of Residential Life│University of Connecticut

    1346 Storrs Rd, Unit 4238 │Storrs, CT 06269

    Phone: 860-486-3448

    Mandatory Community Meeting Terry 3rd Floor – 9/21/22

    Subject: Mandatory Community Meeting

    Hello Terry 3rd Floor,

    On September 13, 2022, there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias-related in nature. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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 individual(s) responsible for this incident targeted the LGBTQIA+ community by writing offensive and inappropriate comments harming certain individuals.

    We will be having a floor meeting on Tuesday, September 27th, at 5 PM in the Northwest Game Room in Batterson Hall. We expect that you will all have an active part in building an inclusive community by attending this mandatory meeting. This meeting is the first step to helping rebuild the trust within our community. As you move forward in immersing yourself into the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors:

    • Hold your peers accountable for their decisions
    • Ifyou see something, say something. Reach out to your RA, or a Hall Director
    • Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts of disrespect within your community

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form: https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/.

    If you have any additional information about this incident or would like to discuss this with someone, you may reach out to a Hall Director.

    Sincerely,

    Victoria Clark

    Victoria N. Clark, M.Ed.

    She/Her/Hers

    Residence Hall Director - Northwest Quadrangle

    Department of Residential Life

    Phone: 860-486-0946

     

    Buckley Bias Response – 9/14/22

    Subject: Buckley Bias Response

    Dear Residents of Buckley Hall,

    On Wednesday, August 31, 2022, there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature. Students personal pride posters were vandalized in the community. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.

    We expect that you will all have an active part in building an inclusive community by helping us disrupt 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 that uplift and support each other. Although this incident has occurred in our area, I know they do not represent who we are as a community.

    The RAs and I will be creating a poster campaign to highlight opportunities for growth and education for the residents of Buckley Hall. This poster that will explain the history of pride, the importance of living in an inclusive environment, and resources you can find on campus to educate yourself and others as well. When you see these, I encourage you to have conversations with your RAs and fellow community members about how to be an ally while creating a safe and positive community.

    As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions, including vandalism in our community, have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decision; If you see something, whether it is bias or vandalism, say something to your RA, or your Hall Director. Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community.

    If anyone has any additional information about this specific incident, please reach out to myself at monica.mordowanec@uconn.edu or Jen Napiorski at jennifer.napiorski@uconn.edu

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Buckley Newsletter 9.14.22

    Respectfully,

    Monica Mordowanec

    she.her.hers

    Hall Director

    Message to Werth Tower Residents – 7/19/22

    Subject: Message to Werth Tower Residents

    Hi Werth Tower Residents,

    I hope you are all doing well and had a relaxing weekend. I am e-mailing you all today to provide an update regarding the communal bathrooms and resident usage. As a student, living in Werth Tower, you should use any bathroom that affirms your gender identity and you feel comfortable in. Gender identity is defined as follows: each person’s internal and individual experience of gender. There are many different gender identities, including, male, female, transgender, gender neutral, non-binary, agender, pangender, genderqueer, two-spirit, and all, non, or a combination of these. Please note that no one will be documented for utilizing the restroom that affirms your gender identity.

    For more information please visit Home | Rainbow Center (uconn.edu) or reach out to the One Summer Staff.

    Best,

    One Summer Staff

    Bias Response Communication academic year 2021-2022

    Professional Behavior and Community Impact – 7/5/22

    Subject: Professional Behavior and Community Impact

    Hello Everyone,

    Earlier this month there were comments made that pushed the boundary of appropriate language while on shift. The comments made were bias towards a staff members identity. Bias language is defined as language 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.

    As you know, using inclusive language and working to create an environment where are all welcome is something our department strives for and it is my hope that you strive for that goal as well. As a staff member, it is important that you are aware and can acknowledge non-inclusive language. It is imperative as role models and representatives of this department that you actively work to build an inclusive community by helping us disrupt the narrative that events such as these create in our team. This situation has made me aware that we need to do more work and engage more thoughtfully in topics of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in order to better ourselves and the community we serve.

    Departmental expectations:

    As we move forward from this, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors:

    • Hold your peers accountable for their decision
    • If you see something, say something.
    • Speak up when you notice harm being caused to another person
    • Talk with your Hall Director or another professional staff member

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Please understand that when you are on shift, or walking around campus wearing your polo, you are representing our office and the university. Please ensure that your actions align with the values and mission of the university when doing so.

    Kindly,

    Kim K

    Kim Kleszczynski

    She/They

    Residence Hall Director

    Charter Oak Apartments

    -----------------------------

    Department of Residential Life

    Residence Education

    P: 860-486-8354

    Join my personal link: https://uconn-cmr.webex.com/meet/kak21011

     

    Towers Quad Bias Incident Follow Up – 4/18/22

    Dear Residents of Trumbull Second Floor,

    On Saturday, April 2, 2022,a conversation involving the use of the n-word and the word "blacky" was overheard in the community. It is presumed that those involved in using the word are not black. An investigation has been completed regarding this matter and we wanted to make you all aware. At this time, we are not aware as to who made these statements. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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 Towers HDs will be hosting open office hours to discuss the impact this incident had on the community if you would like to attend. While this is not mandatory, I do expect that you all have an active part in building an inclusive community and hope that you can come to support members of your community who may have been negatively affected by this incident. HD Daryl will be available on Wednesday, April 20th from 1pm-5pm. HD Steve will be available on Thursday, April 21st from 9am-11am.If you cannot make it to the open office hours, but would still like to chat, please feel free to email one of us to set up an appointment.

    As you move forward in immersing yourself into the community, please keep in mind that these actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decisions; if you see something, say something. You can report this to your RA or to myself.

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community please do not hesitate to report it through the
    bias reporting form.
    Best,
    Daryl Yingling, Residence Hall Director
    Steve Taylor, Residence Hall Director
    The Towers Quad Staff

    Bias Incident Notification: Russell 2nd Floor – 4/13/22

    Subject: Bias Incident Notification: Russell 2nd Floor

    Dear Residents of Russell 2nd Floor,

    On April 3, 2022 there was an incident that occurred where a racial slur, specifically the n-word, was used by a guest of a resident on the floor. The university is considering this incident to be bias related in nature.  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.

    As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decisions; if you see something, say something to your RA or your Hall Director; Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community.

    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. Our goal in Residence Life is to not only educate the people involved in incidents such as these, but the community as a whole to try and help everyone have a deeper understanding of how all forms of bias impacts us all. Below you will find some videos that may  help you further educate yourself on this topic.

    The N-Word “Double Standard”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LK-j8ZED44

    The N-Word Through History: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Yv2BnfbUFs

    How the N-Word Became the “Atomic Bomb of Racial Slurs”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8g3V2gzY7Q

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form (https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/). If you have any questions or concerns about this incident, please reach out to HD Blake Sherman or myself.

    Best,

    Victoria

    Victoria N. Clark, M.Ed.

    She/Her/Hers

    Residence Hall Director - Northwest Quadrangle

    Department of Residential Life

    Phone: 860-486-0946

     

    Antisemitism in our Community – 4/12/22

    Subject: Antisemitism in our Community

    Recent Bias Incident in our Community 

    There has been a bias incident involving antisemitism in our community. Incidents like this that target or threaten individuals or a group based on their identities is unacceptable and is not in line with our values as a community. 

    What is a 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.  

    Video: What is hate speech?

    What is AntiSemitism?
    Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jewish people, which may be expressed as hatred toward those in the Jewish community. As well as hostility or discrimination against Jewish persons as a religious group. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

    Contemporary Examples of Antisemitism: 

    • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jewish persons in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion
    • Using symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism
    • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms, or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II

    For more examples and information, please visit: state.gov/defining-anti-semitism

    What Can I Do to Be a Part of the Solution?

    1. Educate yourself
    2. Hold yourself accountable for your words and actions and how they impact others
    3. Hold others accountable and assist in their learning if you're able to

    Visit resources such as:

    Chabad at UConn: https://www.jewishuconn.com/

    https://inform.uconn.edu/

    What's Next?

    If you have any information regarding this incident or are impacted, please contact Devon Walker at devon.walker@uconn.edu.

     

    April Heritage and Awareness Month – 4/8/22

    April Heritage and Awareness Month

    To the UConn Community:

    April is an important month for many members of the UConn community. The Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Provost’s Office would like to take this opportunity to remind you of several celebrations, commemorations, and moments of raising awareness for members of our community:

    Arab American Heritage Month: During the month of April, cultural institutions, schools, legislatures, and organizations across the country formally recognize the achievements of Arab Americans. Over 3.7 million Americans have roots tracing to 22 Arab countries across the Middle East and North Africa, representing diverse faiths, races, and languages. Efforts to honor their rich and diverse cultural heritages, as well as the many contributions they have made to American society, have been underway since 2017. This year, 37 US states have issued proclamations commemorating Arab American Heritage Month, as has President Biden, who in 2021 became the first US president to publicly acknowledge the celebration of Arab American Heritage. UConn wishes a happy Arab American Heritage Month to all who commemorate it!

    Asian American Heritage Month: Every April, UConn commemorates Asian American Heritage Month – which is observed nationally in May – to honor the contributions Asian, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders have made to our country, our state, and our university. We believe that 2022 is an especially important year to celebrate Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) members of the UConn community. The AAPI community been unjustly targeted for racially based violence and harassment over the last two years. This increase in racially-based violence and harassment has a negative impact on the living, learning, and working conditions for AAPI members of our community – and, in turn, for all members of our community. 

    This year we are excited to honor the AAPI members of our community together and in-person after two years of virtual events. The Asian and Asian American Cultural Center will be hosting a month full of events. Some highlights include:

    • A month-long art mural in the Women’s Center acknowledging the hard work and achievements of Asian American women throughout history
    • Art & Activism – Ruby Ibarra (4/14)

    See a full list of events here. We look forward to seeing you!

    Autism Acceptance Month: UConn recognizes Autism Acceptance Month – formerly Autism Awareness Month – each April. Autism impacts a large segment of the population: 1 in 44 children are diagnosed with autism and there are currently over 7 million Americans from all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic standings on the autism spectrum. Autism Acceptance Month is aimed at raising awareness about the experiences and needs of those affected by autism, as well as ensuring that all those affected are able to achieve the highest quality of life possible. The name has been changed from “awareness” to “acceptance” to indicate the need to create a world where everyone in the autism community is connected to the help they need when they need it, and where the community’s critical needs for inclusion, connections, and support are met. Click here to see UConn’s resources dedicated to this community.

    Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month: Every April, UConn renews its commitment to eliminating sexual violence on our campuses, in our state, and across the country. Sexual assault, harassment, violence, and abuse can happen anywhere: in the US, nearly 1 in 5 women experience rape or attempted rape. Sexual violence disproportionately impacts women of color, Native and Indigenous women, immigrant women, LGBTQIA+ women, and disabled women. Moreover, people under the age of 30, especially college-aged individuals, face the highest rates of sexual assault, including 21% of transgender or non-binary students, 18% of female students, and 4% of male students. Ending sexual violence requires care and commitment from all of us.

    ODI is committed to raising awareness about sexual violence and prevention and supporting survivors of sexual violence. The ODI Central Office and Cultural Centers and Programs are here for you. UConn employees are obligated to advise the Office of Institutional Equity if they receive a report of sexual assault; cultural center full-time employees are exempt from this, however, which means that we can support you without reporting your information (unless you request it or an incident involves a minor). We also have events like a talk on Black Feminist Perspectives on campus sexual assault (April 15) and “Take Back the Night” (April 20) to honor sexual assault survivors.

    ODI also supports University efforts to hold accountable the individuals who commit sexual assault, violence, and harassment:

    You can find more resources through the Title IX Office and Responding to Student Disclosures of Sexual Violence. You may also find information on the President’s Task Force on Combating Sexual Violence on the President’s website.

    Religious Holidays: April 2022 is a significant month for the religious practices of many members of our community (listed chronologically):

    Ramadan (April 2 – May 2) and Eid al-Fitr (May 2-3): A holy month for Muslims that is used for spiritual reflection and growth, to help those in need, and spending time with loved ones. Muslims around the world typically observe a fast during daylight hours. UConn Dining will have specially prepared meals and will set up a station to collect meals after sundown.

    Vaisakhi (April 14): This holiday marks the start of the Punjabi New Year and also celebrates the year (1699) when Sikhism was established as a formal order by Guru Gobind Singh. The day is observed by temple worship, feasting and dancing.

    Passover (April 15 – April 23): This is a celebration of the Jewish redemption from slavery in ancient Egypt. Members of the Jewish community all over the world observe Passover by hosting seder meals. UConn events include Passover at Chabad and annual seder meals hosted by Hillel. UConn will offer specially prepared kosher meal options.

    Easter (April 17): Easter is a Christian holiday to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is preceded by a Holy Week that begins with Palm Sunday (April 10). Festivities typically include special church services, music, flowers, the ringing of church bells, and family gatherings with a meal on Easter Sunday, the holiest of all Christian feast days.

    Orthodox Easter (April 24): The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ by Orthodox Christians, especially in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Greece, Lebanon, the Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Ukraine, and Russia.

    We welcome the celebration of each of these holidays on our campuses and encourage support for those requiring accommodations. You can find information about guidance on academic accommodations for religious observations on a new webpage hosted by the Provost’s Office.

    To see more information about resources and events happening this month and throughout the remainder of the semester, please visit our events page at www.diversity.uconn.edu/events.

     

    Sincerely,

    Carl and Frank

     

    Carl Lejuez

    Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

    Frank Tuitt

    Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

    Update on Bias related incident in Busby – 4/7/22

    Subject: Update on Bias related incident in Busby

    Dear Residents of Busby Suites

    This is a follow up to the email I sent on March 10, 2022, regarding the bias incident that occurred on March 3, 2022, in Busby Suites. It has come to my attention that incorrect information about this incident was recently posted to social media accounts

    On March 3, 2022, around 2:00 AM, hall staff discovered racist and homophobic graffiti on walls, dry erase boards, and bulletin boards in several locations within Busby. Hall staff notified UConn Police, who documented the incident and spoke with witnesses. Once documented, staff erased the graffiti on dry erase boards and removed graffiti from bulletin boards. The graffiti on the walls was covered up and removed by facilities later in the day on March 3, 2022. Most recently, on March 31, 2022, a non-UConn student was arrested in connection with this incident; news article can be viewed here.

    The Dean of Students Office provides information on all bias incidents that occur on campus and the outreach that has happened. Bias Incident Summary | Dean of Students Office (uconn.edu)

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form: Bias Reporting | Dean of Students Office (uconn.edu), call the RA on-duty at 860-234-2183 (weeknights 7pm-7am and 24 hours a day on weekends) or call UCPD by dialing 860-486-4800.

     

    Sincerely,

    Karen Lohr

    -------------------------------------------

    Karen Lohr

    Pronouns: She – Her - Hers

    Residence Hall Director Busby Suites

     

    University of Connecticut

    Department of Residential Life – Residence Education

    1346 Storrs Rd, Unit 4238

    Storrs, CT 06269

    Office Phone: (860) 486-6569

     

    Bias Response – 4/4/22

    Subject: Re: Bias Response

    Dear Community Members of North,

    On Monday, March 28th, there was a bias-related incident where an unidentified person/s vandalized a whiteboard in the McConaughy game room lounge. The whiteboard depicted a game of hangman, with the phrase "fat people" and an image of an overweight naked person hanging from the hangman noose. Underneath that picture were the words "hate speech" written with green hearts surrounding the word indicating that other students had seen this image.

    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. Fat shaming involves criticizing and harassing overweight people about their weight or eating habits to make them feel ashamed of themselves. The belief is that this may motivate people to eat less, exercise more, and lose weight. In the majority of cases, the people who fat-shame others are slim and never had to struggle with a weight problem. Research shows that much of the discussion on obesity on social media involves fat shaming, which often turns into harassment and cyberbullying — especially against women. In fact, there are entire online communities where people gather to make fun of overweight people. However, stigma and discrimination against overweight people cause major psychological harm and worsen the problem.

    Articles: “Obesity in social media: a mixed methods analysis”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4167901/

    “The Harmful Effects of Fat Shaming”

    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fat-shaming-makes-things-worse

    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 North 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.

    North Hall Director Contact Information:

    Victor Osorio

    He.Him.His

    Residence Hall Director

    University of Connecticut

    Department of Residential Life

    1346 Storrs Road, Unit 4238

    Phone: 860-486-4742

    E-mail: Victor.Osorio@uconn.edu

     

     

    PHH Community Bias-Related Incident – 3/28/22

    Subject: PHH Community Bias-Related Incident

    Dear Public Health House,

    On March 6, 2022, there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias-related in nature. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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 individual(s) responsible for this incident targeted those that identify as Jewish by using anti-Semitic stereotypes and offensive verbal comments. Anti-Semitism is defined as a certain perception of Jewish people, which may be expressed as hatred toward those in the Jewish community. As well as hostility or discrimination against Jewish persons as a religious group. This can look a variety of different ways through slurs, stereotypes, microaggressions, harmful jokes, and sometimes symbols drawn.

    We will be having a floor meeting on Wednesday, March 30th, at 8 PM in the Werth Forum. We expect that you will all have an active part in building an inclusive community by helping us disrupt 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 that uplift and support each other. Although this incident has occurred in our area, I know they do not represent who we are as a community.

    This meeting is the first step to helping rebuild the trust within our Public Health House community. As you move forward in immersing yourself into the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors:

    • Hold your peers accountable for their decision
    • Ifyou see something, say something. To your RA, or your Hall Director
    • Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form: https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/.

    If you have any additional information about this incident or would like to discuss this with someone you can reach out to James Walker or Jeff Benike.

    Sincerely,

    Werth Hall Leadership Team

    Jeffrey Benike, M.S.

    he.him.his

    Residence Hall Director – Werth Tower

    Department of Residential Life

    O: 860.486.5107

    C: 860.207.2400

    jeffrey.benike@uconn.edu

    Library Incident – 3/28/211

    Subject: Library Incident

    To the UConn Community,

    I’m writing to you about a dispute between students that took place in the Homer Babbidge Library at the end of February. Some of you may be aware of it through social media, or news outlets. For many others, this message is the first you’re hearing of it. Either way, a number of people, including students, alumni, parents and others have contacted me because they were troubled by what took place. So was I.

    On its face, the dispute revolved around fliers posted in and scattered around the library that were critical of me, the state of Israel, and an economic development mission to that nation that I participated in earlier this year, along with a delegation of Connecticut officials and business leaders. The fliers were numerous, and two students were taking some down and picking up others and throwing them away. (The library’s policy does prohibit multiple postings). As this was going on, an argument regarding the fliers started between them and a group of students seated nearby. During the course of the argument, a student called one of the two students who had been throwing the fliers away a series of crude insults as well as calling her a “f_____g Zionist.”

    What we know of it is based on a short video posted on social media and subsequent statements from each of those involved. The students throwing the fliers away, one of whom is Muslim and one of whom is Jewish, noted that some of the insults directed at the Jewish student were antisemitic in nature, which is unacceptable in any context.

    The incident was heated enough that the police were contacted. UConn Police investigated and issued their report this past week. It was determined that nothing criminal took place on either side. The Division of Student Affairs also investigated and concluded that nothing said or done by anyone involved violated the Student Code of Conduct, a determination that was finalized this past Friday. Both concluded that, whatever else they were, the words spoken and actions taken fell into the category of free speech. Regardless of content or message, the university cannot and does not sanction students for the things they say while exercising this right.

    Yet, as we have all seen, it is entirely possible for words to be protected speech under the First Amendment but still deeply harmful and inconsistent with our community’s values, which this was.

    Needless to say, this dispute wasn’t really about fliers in the library. That was what sparked it, but it was really about much deeper issues tied to the combustible combination of religion, cultural identity, politics, history, and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East – a conflict that plays out around the world, including here.

    Tensions surrounding these issues have been elevated at the university recently. Everyone is free to express their opinions and “choose a side” to support one way or another in the larger conflict, but UConn – the university, the state agency, the public institution – is not and will not. In the face of this and related disputes on our campuses, I have heard from Muslim students who tell me they feel that UConn does not value them. I have heard from Jewish students who tell me they feel that UConn does not value them. Neither is true. We value all our students and want every member of our community – no matter their differences – to respect one another, to know they belong here and to feel safe on our campuses, in the spirit of true inclusion.

    At every university, including ours, open, civil and honest debate is not only encouraged, it is essential. We want every student to approach issues from an intellectual perspective – gather information, analyze it empirically, draw conclusions and make an argument. That is how issues are best explored on a university campus, not through insults and angry confrontations. One of the ways we explore the issues I discuss above is through the Abrahamic Initiative coordinated by Global Affairs, which we will be discussing more in the coming weeks.

    For myself, I’m happy to meet with any student group to discuss the trip to Israel and related issues, as I did last week with Undergraduate Student Government.  When I spoke with the students, I said that my mission is “students first” with three objectives: safety, respect, and inclusion for all.

    I have asked the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Vice President of Student Affairs, and the Provost to dive deeper into this issue and provide additional details regarding the event, steps we took and any that we missed, the broader issues involved, and for recommendations on engaging students in more dialogue. I also asked them to examine: a) the role of social media in promoting hate and creating a climate of fear and harassment aimed at the two students; b) the reaction of a student group and questions about due process within student organizations; c) engagement and dialogue with student media; and d) the relevance and jurisdiction of the Student Code of Conduct, including with respect to social media activity (of note, the Code does apply to both on- and off-campus conduct, including that which takes place via social media). None of us at UConn has the right to “shout down” some or exclude them from aspects of our community.

    As to the root causes of incidents like this: for generations, governments and peoples have worked to find a lasting resolution to end the conflict in that troubled region and have been unable to do so. But it is not hopeless and there has, at times, been progress. This past Saturday was the anniversary of the signing of a peace treaty between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the White House, joined by President Carter.

    The anniversary was a reminder that each of us who feels passionately about these issues has a role to play and a choice to make. My hope is that our whole community chooses dialogue, deeper understanding, compassion for each other, and peace and humanity. We are all privileged to be a part of UConn Nation, where we are committed to creating a safe, inclusive environment.

    Sincerely,

    Radenka

    UConn is a great university.

    But it's more than that. A top-ranked research institution, with campuses and staff across Connecticut,  built to inspire the global community that is UConn Nation. UConn's talented students exceed expectations. Our expert researchers, faculty, and alumni drive Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (CIE) for a better tomorrow. We fuel the State's economy and are committed to benefiting the greater good. This is UConn.

    STUDENTS FIRST, UCONN ALWAYS. HUSKIES FOREVER.

    Dr. Radenka Maric

    Interim President | University of Connecticut
    Office of the President: 860.486.2337

    radenka.maric@uconn.edu

    Twitter: @UConnPresident

    Instagram: @UConnPres

    Response to Bulletin Board Vandalism – 3/25/22

    Subject: Response to Bulletin Board Vandalism

    Dear Residents of Alumni,

    Recently an incident occurred which was impactful for residents of your building and we would like to offer resources to the community.

    This incident included vandalism on the bulletin boards that were themed around Black History Month. Pictures and posters were removed which was concerning. If you were impacted by this incident or have more information about it, please reach out to Veronica Roberts (veronica.roberts@uconn.edu)

    As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors:

    • Hold your peers accountable for their decisions;
    • If you see something, say something- to your RA or your Hall Director;
    • Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate inappropriate acts within your community.
    • If you encounter any bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Let's demonstrate that Alumni is a community of acceptance and inclusion. If there is anything our staff can do to assist you, please feel free to contact us.

    Stephanie Sellin

    Pronouns: she/her/hers

    Graduate Assistant within the Office of Student Welfare

    University of Connecticut

    (Sent by Veronica Roberts on behalf of Stephanie Sellin)

    Bias-Related Incident in Garrigus Suites – 3/14/22

    Subject: Bias-Related Incident in Garrigus Suites

    Dear Residents of Garrigus Suites,

    On March 9, 2022, there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature. Someone vandalized a Resident Assistant’s bulletin board and tore down the Jamaican flag, as well as content from a Black Excellence bulletin board. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.

    We will be having a Diversity Showcase in the upcoming future, to provide an opportunity for residents to learn more about different diversity and social justice topics. While this is not mandatory, we do expect that you all have an active part in building an inclusive community.

    As you move forward in immersing yourself into the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decision; If you see something, say something. To your RA, or your Hall Director; Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community; If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Respectfully, 

    Sydney

    Sydney Wein, M.Ed.

    (she/her/hers)

    Residence Hall Director│Garrigus Suites

    Department of Residential Life│University of Connecticut

    1346 Storrs Rd, Unit 4238 │Storrs, CT 06269Phone: (860) 486-3448

    Bias related incident in Busby – 3/11/22

    Subject: Bias related incident in Busby

    Dear Residents of Busby Suites,  

    On March 3, 2022, there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.  

    Hall staff will be distributing “Hate has no home here” door tags on March 10 & March 11. These will be slid under room doors and you are encouraged to post on your door.

    As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors:

    • Hold your peers accountable for their decision
    • If you see something, say something to your RA, or your Hall Director
    • Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community.  

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form: https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/, call the RA on-duty at 860-234-2183 or call UCPD by dialing 860-486-4800

    -------------------------------------------

    Karen Lohr

    Pronouns: She – Her - Hers

    Residence Hall Director Busby Suites

     

    University of Connecticut

    Department of Residential Life – Residence Education

    1346 Storrs Rd, Unit 4238

    Storrs, CT 06269

    Office Phone: (860) 486-6569

         husky-pride-badge_statue-color

     

    Women of Color Seminar and Newsletter – 3/10/22

    Subject: Women of Color Seminar and Newsletter

    Hello Alumni Community!!

    My name is James Walker and I am a Hall Director here at UConn. As you all may know, this month is Women’s History Month. In recognition of this, I am working with some of the Res Life team to do some programing around Women History Month and we are starting in Alumni! Attached you will find a flyer for a seminar for folks who identify as Women of Color, if you are interested please take a moment to RSVP! Otherwise, take a look at the newsletter below and learn a bit about women of color in history, the answer to the crossword puzzle after break! Enjoy and have a great Spring Break!

    Women of Color in Education Newlsletter

    Women Of Color Seminar

    Women of Color in Ed Blank

    Sending Positive Vibes Your Way,

    James P. Walker-Scott

    He | Him | His

    Werth Tower – Residence Hall Director

    Department of Residential Life

    University of Connecticut

    860 – 486– 5780

    “Be the Change you wish to see in the World.” Mahatma Gandhi

    (Sent by Veronica Roberts on Behalf of James Walker)

    Veronica Roberts

    Residence Hall Director

    Alumni Quadrangle

    University of Connecticut

    Department of Residential Life

    She/Her/Hers

    Office Phone: 860-486-0840

    Email: veronica.roberts@uconn.edu

     

    Email to East – 3/10/22

    Subject: Email to East

    Dear Residents of East Campus, 

    Recently an incident occurred which was impactful for residents of your building and we would like to offer resources to the community.

    This incident included written information posted about the Soviet Union, and in light of the conflict occurring with Russia and Ukraine, it was concerning. If you were impacted by this incident or have more information about it, please reach out to Devon Walker (devon.walker@uconn.edu).   

    As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors:  

    • Hold your peers accountable for their decisions; 
    • If you see something, say something- to your RA or your Hall Director; 
    • Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate inappropriate acts within your community.  
    • If you encounter any bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Let's demonstrate that East is a community of acceptance and inclusion. If there is anything our staff can do to assist you, please feel free to contact us.

    Devon Walker

    she.her.hers.

    Residence Hall Director, McMahon Hall

    Department of Residential Life

    860.486.1845

    Bias Related Incident in Garrigus – 3/8/22

    Subject: Bias Related Incident in Garrigus

    Dear Residents of Garrigus Suites,

    On Monday, February 28, 2022, there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature. The Pride Bulletin Board in the lobby was vandalized. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.

    On Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at 8:00pm, the Garrigus Suites Resident Assistants will be creating a new bulletin board on each floor which will include information about bias. While the Resident Assistants are creating the boards on their respective floors, I encourage you all to engage with the Garrigus Suites staff. I will be working on the bulletin board in the lobby and will be available for people to reach out to have a conversation.

    As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions, including vandalism in our community, have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decision; If you see something, whether it is bias or vandalism, say something to your RA, or your Hall Director. Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community.

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Respectfully,

    Sydney

    Sydney Wein, M.Ed.

    (she/her/hers)

    Residence Hall Director│Garrigus Suites

    Department of Residential Life│University of Connecticut

    1346 Storrs Rd, Unit 4238 │Storrs, CT 06269
    Phone: (860) 486-3448

    Our Strengths and Values – 2/26/22

    Subject: Our Strengths and Values

    To the UConn Community:

    Our differences are one of our greatest strengths, and inclusion is a core value.

    Over the past several days our students have shared, through a rally and reports of bias, that our own community is not immune to acts of hate and injustice, including Islamophobia. Students report hearing slurs on campus, discomfort wearing hijabs, and an unwelcoming attitude toward their faith.

    Other students have reported experiencing similar things on our campuses in the past, when they felt they were targeted because of some aspect of their identity.

    Broadly, these issues are very personal to me. I was born in a country that no longer exists and many members of my family perished during the Second World War. Many others died during the civil war that raged in the former Yugoslavia, and my parents died as refugees. I know what hate can do. And while the examples I cite above are extreme, they have made me sensitive to any act of bias or hate, especially in our own community. My colleagues here at UConn join me in this.

    Last semester, the University formed a Bias Action Group under the leadership of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Division of Student Affairs. The Bias Action Group is a new group that will meet every semester to review our bias data, identify trends and concerns, and create programming and messaging that address the real issues present at UConn.

    You may remember Dr. Daugherty and Dr. Tuitt wrote to you during the fall semester reviewing all the bias data shared with the university. In that email, they shared that bias occurs on our campuses and that bias behavior harms and insults members of our UConn community. It also reminds us of the need to care for one another, respect identity, and be a global center for learning and scholarship. We will not let the actions of a few define us.

    I am happy to hear that the Bias Action Group received a number of applications and will be meeting in the next few weeks. I look forward to their work and, more specifically, to our community more frequently convening to discuss and explore the harm that hate and intolerance cause at UConn.

    To be a great university, we must acknowledge when we have more work to do. We must be an institution that always works to address the impact of hateful acts and value the identity and beliefs of others.

    That work continues.

    Sincerely,

    Radenka

    UConn is a great university.

    But it's more than that. A top-ranked research institution, with campuses and staff across Connecticut,  built to inspire the global community that is UConn Nation. UConn's talented students exceed expectations. Our expert researchers, faculty, and alumni drive Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (CIE) for a better tomorrow. We fuel the State's economy and are committed to benefiting the greater good. This is UConn.

    STUDENTS FIRST, UCONN ALWAYS. HUSKIES FOREVER.

    Dr. Radenka Maric

    Interim President | University of Connecticut
    Office of the President: 860.486.2337

    radenka.maric@uconn.edu

     

    Twitter: @UConnPresident

    Instagram: @UConnPres

     

    Recent Bias Incident Information – 2/23/22

    Subject: Recent Bias Incident Information

    Dear Students,

    As a member of UConn Muslim Ummah (UCMU), the Black Muslim Association, the UConn Muslim Student Association, UConn Salaam, the UConn Hartford Muslim Student Association, or the Ahlul Bayt Student Association, we wanted to share information about a recent incident on campus and the University’s on-going response.

     On February 22, 2022, the University received a bias referral regarding an incident that occurred on February 21, 2022.  The report indicated that while walking on campus two UConn students, who are members of the Muslim community, had racial slurs directed at them by individuals out of a car window driving by.   We take these concerns seriously and promptly enacted our bias protocol when we received the referral.  That protocol involves a coordinated response effort on the part of multiple University staff and offices.

    When the University receives a report of an act of bias, the incident is shared with the Office of Community Standards, UConn Police, and the Dean of Students Office. Each report is managed on a case-by-case basis and actions are taken as appropriate. The actions include:

    • identifying and providing support to impacted parties,
    • reviewing the incident to determine possible violations of the law and/or student code of conduct,
    • determining action steps to educate the impacted community and work to repair harm.

    Today, February 23, 2022, the students identified in the report were contacted and offered support by the Associate Dean of Students and the UConn Police. The UConn Police are investigating the incident. Staff from the Dean of Students Office and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion will work together to provide support for students impacted by this incident. As the referral impacted a faith community, the University Faith liaison has notified the advisor for the respective community. Working together, UConn is committed to supporting our students directly impacted by this incident and continues to seek opportunities to broadly engage our community.

    Our goal is always to engage in efforts which seek to remedy and resolve the impact of hateful speech. As a community, we must continue to work together to stand up for one another and support faith expression at UConn.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you or your organization need additional support while the investigation process continues.

    Maureen Armstrong

    Associate Dean of Students/Director, Dean of Students Office

    Dean of Students Office

    University of Connecticut

    233 Glenbrook Rd, U-4062

    Storrs, CT 06269-4062

    860-486-3426 (phone)

    860-486-1972 (fax)

    https://dos.uconn.edu

     

    Joseph P. Briody, Ph.D.

    Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs

    & Executive Director of Student Activities
    University of Connecticut
    Storrs, CT
    860.486.8151

    EcoHouse Community – 12/20

    Subject: EcoHouse Community

    Dear EcoHouse Community,

    On December 11, 2021, there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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 individual(s) responsible for this incident targeted those that identify as Jewish by using anti-Semitic drawings. Anti-Semitism is defined as a certain perception of Jewish people, which may be expressed as hatred toward those in the Jewish community. As well as hostility or discrimination against Jewish persons as a religious group. This can look a variety of different ways, but it commonly appears through drawings of symbols that represent hatred to the Jewish community.

    We will be having a meeting to discuss the impact this incident had on our community when you return from Winter Break. We expect that you will all have an active part in building an inclusive community by helping us disrupt 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 that uplift and support each other. Although this incident has occurred in our area, I know they do not represent who we are as a community.

    This meeting is the first step to helping rebuild the trust within our community. But as you move forward in immersing yourself into the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors:

    • Hold your peers accountable for their decision
    • If you see something, say something. To your RA, or your Hall Director
    •        Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    If you have any additional information about this incident or would like to discuss this with someone you can reach out to James Walker, Jeff Benike or Jen Napiorski.

    Sincerely,

    Jen Napiorski, Jeff Benike, and James Walker

     

    Jen’s Email: jennifer.napiorski@uconn.edu

    Jeff’s Email: jeffrey.benike@uconn.edu

    James’s Email: james.p.walker@uconn.edu

     

    Jeffrey Benike, M.S.

    he.him.his

    Residence Hall Director – Werth Tower

    Department of Residential Life

    O: 860.486.5107

    C: 860.207.2400

    jeffrey.benike@uconn.edu

    End of the Semester Closing and Additional Information – 12/10

    Subject: End of the Semester Closing and Additional Information

    Hello Northwest!

    As the semester wraps up, Victoria and I wanted to send you some instructions for the end of the semester when you go to leave for break. Please read through the following information closely. We know there is a lot of information, so if you have any questions please reach out to your RA, Victoria, or I.

    • QUIET HOURS
      • 24-hour quiet hours begin Friday, December 10, 2021 at 10:00PM and do not end until Sunday, December 19, 2021 at 7:00PM.
      • Final exams are stressful for everyone. Remember that although you may have finished your finals, it does not mean that everyone else is finished as well.
      • Remember, if noise can be heard outside of your room, then you are being too loud. This includes the areas outside of the building, such as the parking lots, basketball courts, or volleyball courts, and other residence halls.
      • RAs will be extremely vigilant about enforcing these quiet hours, so please make it easier on everyone and abide by the Quiet Hours policy.
    • CHECK-OUT for those NOT RETURNING to the same room for Spring 2022:
      • Beginning Saturday, December 11, 2021 Hall Offices will be staffed from 10:00AM to 10:00PM. When you are ready to check out, proceed to Northwest Hall Office in Batterson Hall to process your check-out.
      • At this time you will:
        • Return your room and mail keys that were assigned to you.
        • Escort a staff member to you room to inspect for condition of room.
        • Be officially checked out of the space in our online system.
      • Those who are checking out need to:
        • Remove all personal belongings from the room. Return any University furniture to its proper and original location – this includes re-assembling disassembled furniture. If any room furniture is missing, students will be charged for the replacement cost.
        • Leave the room/your half of the room clean (surfaces wiped down, floors swept, all trash thrown out). Rooms left in a condition which poses a threat to health and safety standards will be followed up with. Failure to do so will result in University staff cleaning the room and the student being billed accordingly.
        • DO NOT TURN OFF THE HEAT. Set the heater to #3 on the heater to prevent the pipes from freezing.
      • Students checking out of their assignment outside of office hours must return keys to the drop box located on the parking lot entrance to the Residential Life Central Office located in Whitney Hall in East Campus.  All keys must be placed in an envelope provided at the entrance with all fields filled in.  When checking out outside of business hours you are not able to contest charges for damage to the room.  We strongly recommend you record yourself returning your keys for your records.
      • Failure to check out properly (i.e. return keys or complete the aforementioned tasks) will prohibit you from contesting any damage charges. Failure to return your room key to a staff member will result in an automatic lock change that will be billed to you. The cost for this lock change is $100.00.  Failure to return your mailbox key will result in an additional $10.00 charge.
    • Departure for students RETURNING to the same room for Spring 2022:
      • All residents must check out of Northwest within 24 hours of completing their last exam or by 12:00PM on Monday, December 20, 2012 – whichever comes first.
      • If you are returning to this same room for the Spring 2022 semester, you may leave belongings in your room and keep your keys.
      • Take any needed items with you (medications, passport, etc) and bring valuables home as items left here are at your own risk. If you need to leave any items in your room, it is recommended that they be placed on shelves or areas other than the floor. The University is not responsible for any personal belongings that are left in residence halls during recess periods.
      • Absolutely ALL residents must be out of Northwest by 12:00PM on Monday, December 20, 2021. If you are awaiting a ride that will arrive after 12:00PM you will need to wait for them at an alternate location (not in the residence hall).
      • All students who plan on staying on campus at any point during Winter Recess, December 20, 2021-January 15, 2022 must fill out a Winter Recess Housing Application found in their MyHousing Account by December 10, 2021.
      • Roommates DO NOT have to leave together. However, regardless of who departs first, all residents of a room could be charged if the following conditions are not met:
        • Set thermostat to #3 on the side of the heater.
        • Unplug all electrical equipment. This includes refrigerators which must be unplugged, defrosted, cleaned, and perishable items removed.
        • Clean and wipe down your room, take out any trash.
        • Windows must be closed and locked. It is recommended that you lower your window shades.
        • Turn off lights.
        • Lock your door as you leave.
      • VACANCY IN THE ROOM:
        • All residents whose rooms have a vacancy need to ensure that the room is ready. This means a visibly clean and empty/open bed, desk, dresser, and closet space for each vacancy.
      • All rooms will be entered and checked by Residential Life Staff to ensure compliance with above guidelines and fire safety regulations (which can be found in the housing contract).
      • All card access will be turned off on Monday, December 20, 2021 at 12:00 pm, and you will not be able to re-enter the buildings until you return for the spring semester in January.
    • TRASH & RECYCLABLES
      • Don’t forget to take your trash and recyclables out of your room.  Take these items to the trash room.
      • Do not leave trash in the hallways, stairwells, lounges as either you or the entire community will be billed. All large items (carpets, personal furniture, etc. – that need to be discarded, rather than donated) must be taken to the dumpster and placed neatly beside it if the dumpster is already full.
    • DINING HALL DISHES/CUPS/UTENSILS
      • Please return all dining hall owned dishes, cups, utensils (anything that belongs to the dining halls) before you depart from campus. You can return these items directly to the dining hall. No questions asked.
    • MAIL
      • All mail and packages should be picked up before departing campus for winter break. Any packages that have been in the mailroom available for pick up for more than 7 days will be returned to sender on the last day of classes.
      • Send any purchases/package you need over break to the address where you will be residing over winter break.
      • Individuals who apply for and are granted housing through winter break will be able to pick up mail and packages (an email will be sent to you once mail services receives the approved to stay list from Res Life).
      • Anyone not on the winter housing list that is returning for the Spring semester will have any arriving packages and mail stored until their return – these will not be accessible during the break.

    Additionally, Victoria and I would like to add that as of late, there have been multiple reports regarding vandalism in our community. Some of this vandalism has been bias in nature. Residential Life staff has been investigating these incidents and meeting with those students impacted/providing support, as we want students to feel safe and welcomed. Typically, the Northwest Staff would set up a Community Meeting to discuss the impact this type of behavior has on the community, but as we recognize that Finals Week is upon us, as well as Winter Break, the Hall Director Team is, instead, available to make appointments for anyone who would like to discuss this matter further. Upon you all returning in January, Community Expectations will be revisited on your floors with your RA(s), as a refresher of what behaviors are appropriate for community living. Please keep this in mind as you depart for Winter Break.

    Once again, if you have any questions after ready the instructions, please reach out to your RA, Victoria, or me so that we can help answer them.

    Thank you,

    Blake Sherman, M.Ed.
    He | Him | His
    Residence Hall Director: Northwest Quadrangle
    Department of Residential Life – Residence Education
    The University of Connecticut
    1346 Storrs Road, Unit 4238
    Storrs, CT 06269

     

    Bias Within The Community – 12/10

    Subject: Bias Within The Community

    Dear WiMSE Women,

    On December 5th, an incident occurred which is considered to be bias-related in nature. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s value of striving 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.

    This incident included behavior that was bias against individuals sexual orientation on the floor. As a community, especially in a community that focuses on women’s advancement in STEM, it is our expectation that you all respect the multitude of identities within WiMSE. Whether it be race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or anything else, as a community we should embrace one another with compassion and understand that we all do not have the same lived experiences. We as a community need to step up and stand together instead of apart. If you see something, say something. For more information, the following resources are available to you.

    If you were impacted by this incident or have more information about it, please reach out to James Walker (james.p.walker@uconn.edu), Jeff Benike (jeffrey.benike@uconn.edu), or Devon Walker (devon.walker@uconn.edu).

    As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors:

    •         Hold your peers accountable for their decisions;
    •         If you see something, say something- to your RA or your Hall Director;
    •         Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate biased acts within your community.
    •         If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Let's demonstrate that WiMSE is a community of acceptance and inclusion. If you have any information please reach out to any of the Werth Leadership Team.

    Sincerely,

    Werth Leadership Team

    Community Follow Up 9th Floor Hale – 11/23/21

    Subject: Community Follow Up

    Dear Residents of 9th Floor Hale,

    I hope you’re all enjoying your Fall Break! I am reaching out to you all because on Saturday, November 13, 2021, a member of our community was called a derogatory term, that is used to insult those that identify within the LGBTQ+ community, by another member of our community. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving to create a safe and inclusive community for all students. Last week the students involved in this situation were all met with and addressed by a staff member in Residential Life.

    As a reminder, 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.

    If anyone would like to further discuss this matter with me, feel free to email me at susie.scarbeck@uconn.edu to set up an appointment. I am happy to chat and help support you all. As we move forward, please keep in mind that these actions and words can leave a lasting impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their actions and if you see something, say something. You’re always free to report things to your RA or myself. If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form.

    Best,

    Joseph (on behalf of Susie Scarbeck, Residence Hall Director, and the Hilltop Halls Staff)

    --

    Joseph Revander

    Student Welfare Specialist

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    Office Hours: M-F, 9am-5pm

    Residence Education & Student Welfare Unit

    Department of Residential Life

    University of Connecticut

    (P): 860-486-2926

    Bias Incident Notification: Hanks 2nd Floor – 11/19/21

    Subject: Bias Incident Notification: Hanks 2nd Floor

    Dear Residents of Hanks 2nd  Floor,

    On November 8, 2021 there was an incident that occurred where a racial slur, specifically the n-word, was used towards another resident on the floor. The university is considering this incident to be bias related in nature. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.

    As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decision; if you see something, say something to your RA or your Hall Director; Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community. As a community in Northwest, we should not normalize the usage of this language or other language similar to it. We should do better and we can do better.

    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. Our goal in Residence Life is to not only educate the people involved in incidents such as these, but the community as a whole to try and help everyone have a deeper understanding of how all forms of bias impacts us all. In preparation for our meeting, please watch the following videos as we will be using them to drive our conversation:

    The N-Word “Double Standard”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LK-j8ZED44

    The N-Word Through History: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Yv2BnfbUFs

    How the N-Word Became the “Atomic Bomb of Racial Slurs”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8g3V2gzY7Q

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form (https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/). If you have any questions or concerns about this incident, please reach out to your RA Florencia, HD Victoria Clark, or myself.

    Thank you,

    Blake Sherman, M.Ed.
    He | Him | His
    Residence Hall Director: Northwest Quadrangle
    Department of Residential Life – Residence Education
    The University of Connecticut
    1346 Storrs Road, Unit 4238
    Storrs, CT 06269

    Message to Belden 2nd Floor Regarding Bias Incident – 11/17/21

    Subject: Message to Belden 2nd Floor Regarding Bias Incident

    Dear Belden 2 Resident,  

    I am writing to notify our community of an incident of bias that occurred on 11/13/2021 on Belden 2. This incident included written statements of gender bias. An investigation is currently underway to hold those responsible accountable and to support any impacted students.  

    This is not the first incident including gender bias in our community, and that is unacceptable; these behaviors must cease. It is an expectation of the University of Connecticut and this community that students be responsible for the impact of their individual actions and intervene when harmful behaviors are witnessed that threaten the inclusivity of our community. We are committed to getting to the bottom of this and holding those responsible accountable. 

    We would like to invite you to participate in a plan to address this issue and offer opportunities to engage in dialogue and provide spaces for healing.  

     If you were impacted by this incident or have more information about it, please reach out to Quran Green(quran.green@uconn.edu), Veronica Roberts (veronica.roberts@uconn.edu), or Devon Walker (devon.walker@uconn.edu).   

     As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors:  

    • Hold your peers accountable for their decisions; 
    • If you see something, say something- to your RA or your Hall Director; 
    • Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate biased acts within your community. 
    • If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/ 

    Let's demonstrate that Alumni is a community of acceptance and inclusion.  

    We hope that the person 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 860-234-2179 or calling the HD office at 860-486-0840.   

    Quran, Veronica,Trevor & Devon  

    Leadership Team | Alumni Quadrangle

    University of Connecticut | Department of Residential Life

    Office Line: 860-486-0840

     

    Hale Hall Newsletter – 11/12/21

    Bias Newsletter Hale Hall Newsletter - 11-12-21

    Susie Scarbeck, M.S.Ed.

    Residence Hall Director, Hilltop Halls

    University of Connecticut

    Department of Residential Life

    Phone: (860) 486 - 5574

    Susie.scarbeck@uconn.edu

    Bias related incident in Busby – 10/29/21

    Subject: Bias related incident in Busby

    Dear Residents of Busby Suites,  

    On October 16, 2021 there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.  

    We will be having open community hours via WebEx on Friday, November 5th from 10-11:30am https://uconn-cmr.webex.com/uconn-cmr/j.php?MTID=m44b59e8beb2680f281f02677b038799a for you to come and discuss the impact of this incident and I can provide resources to assist you in processing this event further. While attending is not mandatory, we do expect that you all have an active part in building an inclusive community and hope that you can support members of your community who may have been negatively affected by this incident. 

    This meeting is the first step to helping rebuild trust within our community. But as you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors:

    • Hold your peers accountable for their decision
    • If you see something, say something to your RA, or your Hall Director
    • Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community.  

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form: https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/, call the RA on-duty at 860-234-2183 or call UCPD by dialing 860-486-4800

    -------------------------------------------

    Karen Lohr

    Pronouns: She – Her - Hers

    Residence Hall Director Busby Suites

    University of Connecticut

    Department of Residential Life – Residence Education

    1346 Storrs Rd, Unit 4238

    Storrs, CT 06269

    Office Phone: (860) 486-6569

     

     

    Message to Belden Residents regarding Bias-Related Incident – 10/28/21

    Subject: Message to Belden Residents regarding Bias-Related Incident

    Dear Residents of Belden, 

    On October 16th, an incident occurred which is considered to be bias-related in nature. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s value of striving 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.  

    This incident included behavior that was anti-Asian and gender-biased. Anti-Asian bias incidents are on the rise around the country, and it is important to protect and support our Asian and Asian American community members. For more information, the following resources are available to you.

    If you were impacted by this incident or have more information about it, please reach out to Quran Green(quran.green@uconn.edu), Veronica Roberts (veronica.roberts@uconn.edu), or Devon Walker (devon.walker@uconn.edu).  

    As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors:

    • Hold your peers accountable for their decisions;
    • If you see something, say something- to your RA or your Hall Director;
    • Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate biased acts within your community.  
    • If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/ 

     Let's demonstrate that Alumni is a community of acceptance and inclusion. 

    We hope that the person 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 860-234-2179 or calling the HD office at 860-486-0840. 

    Quran, Veronica, & Trevor

    Leadership Team | Alumni Quadrangle

    University of Connecticut | Department of Residential Life

    Office Line: 860-486-0840

    Newsletter – Bias Incident Response – 10/27/21

    Subject: Newsletter - Bias Incident Response

    Good morning Garrigus Suites Residents,

    Attached in this email is a newsletter I created talking about bias in our community, as well as some resources for you to look at to continue learning about the LGBTQ+ Community. As a reminder, our Community Meeting is being held TONIGHT at 8:30pm in the first floor lounge. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting at 8:30pm.

    Respectfully,

    Sydney

    Sydney Wein, M.Ed.

    (she/her/hers)

    Residence Hall Director│Garrigus Suites

    Department of Residential Life│University of Connecticut

    1346 Storrs Rd, Unit 4238 │Storrs, CT 06269
    Phone: (860) 486-3448

    Bias Incident Newsletter - Garrigus Suites

    Acknowledgement of Concerns regarding Bulletin Boards 10/26/21

    Subject: Acknowledgement of Concerns regarding Bulletin Boards

    Dear Residents of Brock,

    The Alumni leadership team, as well as Residential Life overall, has received information that some residents were impacted by the bulletin boards posted earlier this month.

    The goal of the bulletin boards was to educate and generate conversations and introspection around language and inclusion on campus, including but not limited to: show that it is easy to accidentally use offensive language (or one could just as easily be on the receiving end of such language), and provide more inclusive alternatives for common phrases that can be used in place of the non-inclusive language and why it could be considered offensive.

    The information posted on the bulletin boards was not intended to harm residents, but to provoke conversations around this topic. Residential Life strives to create educational environments which challenges residents to reflect on their behavior and life experiences, and to do so in a supportive manner.

    We are here for you, and if you would like to further speak to any member of the Alumni leadership team about this concern, we will have open office hours from 1pm – 5pm on Friday, October 29th in the Watson Hall Office; please feel free to reach out if you are not available at that time.

    Below, please find some resources on inclusive language you may find helpful to research the topic.

    Resources 

    Quran, Veronica, & Trevor

    Leadership Team | Alumni Quadrangle

    University of Connecticut | Department of Residential Life

    Office Line: 860-486-0840

    Community Meeting Information 10/22/21

    Subject: Community Meeting Information

    Good afternoon Garrigus Suites Residents,

    I hope you all are doing well. I wanted to let you know that our community meeting following the bias incidents that occurred will be held on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 8:30pm in the First Floor Lounge of Garrigus Suites. During the meeting, we will be briefly talking about the incidents, and following up the meeting with an activity about bias language.

    Respectfully,

    Sydney

    Sydney Wein, M.Ed.

    (she/her/hers)

    Residence Hall Director│Garrigus Suites

    Department of Residential Life│University of Connecticut

    1346 Storrs Rd, Unit 4238 │Storrs, CT 06269
    Phone: (860) 486-3448

    Continued Bias Related Incidents in Garrigus Suites 10/21/21

    Subject: Continued Bias Related Incidents in Garrigus Suites

    Dear Garrigus Suites Residents,

    I am writing to notify our community of two incidents of bias that occurred the week of October 4th. On a white board, derogatory slurs that are commonly associated with the LGBTQIA+ community were written and verbal remarks in regards to race and ethnicity were used. An investigation is currently underway, and we are providing support to any impacted students.

    The behaviors displayed in these repeated incidents are unacceptable and must cease immediately. It is an expectation of the University of Connecticut and this community that students be responsible for the impact of their individual actions and intervene when harmful behaviors are witnessed that threaten the inclusivity of our community.

    In full transparency, we would like to share our plan to continue to address this issue and offer opportunities to engage in dialogue and provide spaces for healing.

    The Garrigus Suites Action Plan:

    • Connect with the RAINBOW Center and the African American Cultural Center
    • Offering a chance for residents to come together to learn about the power of words and the harm that bias language has on the community. A follow-up email will be sent with the date, time, and location of the meeting.
    • Passive education, including a newsletter offering multiple resources

    Now, here is where you come in. 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 Garrigus Suites is a community of acceptance and inclusion.

    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) 933-5211, calling the HD Office at (860) 486-3448 or emailing the Hall Director at Sydney.wein@uconn.edu.

    In solidarity,

    Sydney

    Sydney Wein, M.Ed.

    (she/her/hers)

    Residence Hall Director│Garrigus Suites

    Department of Residential Life│University of Connecticut

    1346 Storrs Rd, Unit 4238 │Storrs, CT 06269
    Phone: (860) 486-3448

    Bias Incident Notification: Goodyear 2nd Floor 10/19/21

    Subject: Bias Incident Notification: Goodyear 2nd Floor

    Dear Residents of Goodyear 2nd Floor,

    On September 30th, there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature. On a white board, accusations of homophobia were written. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.

    Below are links with information from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) about challenging biased language, as well as responding to jokes and slurs. Please take time to read and reflect on these articles. As a community, it is important for all of us to act as active bystanders to make our community in Goodyear Hall, Northwest, and the University, a welcoming place for all students.

    https://www.adl.org/education/resources/tools-and-strategies/challenging-biased-language

    https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/assets/pdf/education-outreach/Responding-to-Jokes-and-Slurs.pdf

    As you move forward in immersing yourself into the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: hold your peers accountable for their decision; if you see something, say something to your RA, or your Hall Director; remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community.

    If you encounter bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form: https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Sincerely,

    Blake Sherman & Victoria Clark

    Northwest Hall Directors

    Thank you,

    Blake Sherman, M.Ed.
    He | Him | His
    Residence Hall Director: Northwest Quadrangle
    Department of Residential Life – Residence Education
    The University of Connecticut
    1346 Storrs Road, Unit 4238
    Storrs, CT 06269

    Bias Related Incident in Garrigus Suites 10/1/21

    Subject: Bias Related Incident in Garrigus Suites

    Dear Residents of Garrigus Suites,

    On September 17th, there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature. On a white board derogatory slurs that are commonly associated with the LGBTQIA+ community were written. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving to create a safe and inclusive community for all students.

    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 will be having a community meeting on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 7:00pm, located in the Garrigus first floor lounge to discuss the impact this incident had on the community. While this is not mandatory, we do expect that you all have an active part in building an inclusive community and hope that you can come to support members of your community who may have been negatively affected by this incident. If you are unable to attend the meeting, below is a link with information from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) about challenging biased language, as well as responding to jokes and slurs. As a community, it is important for all of us to act as active bystanders to make our community in Garrigus Suites and the University, a welcoming place for all students.
    https://www.adl.org/education/resources/tools-and-strategies/challenging-biased-language
    https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/assets/pdf/education-outreach/Responding-to-Jokes-and-Slurs.pdf

    This meeting is the first step to helping rebuild the trust within our community. But as you move forward in immersing yourself into the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decision; If you see something, say something to your RA, or your Hall Director; Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community.

    If you encounter bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Sincerely,

    Sydney

    Sydney Wein, M.Ed.

    (she/her/hers)

    Residence Hall Director│Garrigus Suites

    Department of Residential Life│University of Connecticut

    1346 Storrs Rd, Unit 4238 │Storrs, CT 06269
    Phone: (860) 486-3448

    ODI’s Message to UConn Community 9/23/21

    To the UConn Community:

    This week we learned of multiple incidents on the Storrs campus that targeted LGBTQIA+, Hindu, and Muslim members of our community.

    We take this matter seriously and reject, denounce, and condemn these acts. Members of all of these communities contribute to the rich diversity that makes the University of Connecticut stronger as an institution. ODI values members of all of these communities and stands with them in the face of these heinous acts.

    ODI is working with campus partners to address impacted communities and these incidents are being investigated by the university. We will provide updates as more information becomes available.

    To the members of our community who are impacted by this senseless hatred, please know that the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, including our central office and cultural centers/programs, stands with you. Please visit ODI’s website , the Rainbow Center, the Asian American Cultural Center, the African American Cultural Center, Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center, the Women’s Center, the Islamic Center at UConn, the Dean of Students staff and Student Health and Wellness for resources and support.

    Sincerely,

    The Office for Diversity and Inclusion

    South Bias Incident Follow Up 8/26/21

    Dear Residents of Wilson,
    On Thursday,
    August 19, 2021, staff were conducting rounds of the building and discovered a swastika drawn on the wall in the stairwell. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.
    I will be having open office hours on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 from 9am-10am via WebEx to discuss the impact this incident had on the community. While this is not mandatory, I do expect that you all have an active part in building an inclusive community and hope that you can come to support members of your community who may have been negatively affected by this incident. If you cannot make it to my open office hours, but would still like to chat with me, please feel free to email me to set up an appointment. Additionally, UCONN Hillel will also be sending out a climate survey at the beginning of the semester to gauge how students on campus are feeling in regards to matters such as this and more. Please see below for resources on anti-Semitism, UCONN Hillel, and the history of the Swastika.
    As you move forward in immersing yourself into the community, please keep in mind that these actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decisions; if you see something, say something. You can report this to your RA or to myself.
    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community please do not hesitate to report it through the
    bias reporting form
    Best,
    Rachel Conners, Residence Hall Director & the South Campus Staff

    Bias Response Communication academic year 2020-2021

    Update for the Community 4/29/21

    Update for the Community

    To the Campus Community:

    As you may recall, last month there were two incidents in which anti-Semitic graffiti was spray-painted on the outside of two academic buildings on the Storrs campus, coinciding with the Passover holiday. These vile acts were deeply disturbing to our community.

    We write today to inform you that after an intensive investigation, the UConn Police Department has arrested and charged a UConn student in connection with one of these incidents. The police will be releasing the arrest warrant and related information this afternoon.

    The matter was also referred to Community Standards today as part of the student conduct process.

    We are grateful to UConn Police for their efforts, which, along with our clearly articulated values as an institution, help to demonstrate that hateful acts such as these will never be tolerated at UConn.

    Every member of our community – students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests – deserves to feel safe and respected at UConn. Anyone who violates that principle goes against the values this university exists to uphold.

    Sincerely,

    Tom

    Thomas Katsouleas

    President

    University of Connecticut

    Recent Incidents in our Community 3/30/21

    Recent Incidents in our Community 3/30/21

    To the UConn community,

    In recent days, we have been made aware of several incidents of hateful conduct and speech directed at members of our community on the Storrs campus. This includes vile anti-Semitic graffiti on a building near Hillel and deeply offensive comments directed at members of the LGBTQ+ community, among others. Our disappointment is matched only by our concern: Any such attack on students, faculty, or staff members is totally unacceptable and has no place at this University.

    We are taking these incidents very seriously, and any violations of the law or the Student Code of Conduct will be answered with disciplinary measures and law enforcement where appropriate. But these matters are not only formal violations of codes and statutes: They are directly counter to the spirit and purpose of education, and inimical to the life of a community of scholars and students.

    The past year has been extraordinarily difficult for our University, our state, our country, and our world. Despite those hardships, many religious traditions observed this very week recognize the strength of faith and perseverance through the celebrations of Easter and Passover. Beyond these moments recognized by these specific traditions, there remains a true beacon for all of us of the importance of togetherness, compassion, and care displayed by the vast majority of UConn students, faculty, and staff members. We are emerging from a time of challenge as a stronger community, which is why these incidents are particularly hurtful and upsetting. We cannot – we will not – allow the hateful words and conduct of a few individuals damage the spirit of unity that animates this University.

    We want to direct you to some of the resources available at UConn, which help strengthen our community by celebrating our diversity:

    It is also important to remember that if you are the victim of or witness to a crime, the UConn Police Department is here to protect each and every member of our community.

    It is distressing to me that a letter like this one is necessary, but it is absolutely urgent for us to make clear to all of our students, faculty, and staff members that you are vital, valued members of the UConn community. For those who feel distressed or uncertain in the face of incidents of abhorrent conduct, let us be as clear as we can: Hate has no place here. Together, we will overcome this, as we can overcome any challenge when we face it as a united University.

    Regards,

    Tom Katsouleas

    President

    Carl Lejuez

    Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

    Frank Tuitt

    Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

    Eleanor “Elly” JB Daugherty

    Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

    March 29, 2021-Message from the Rainbow Center and ODI

    March 29, 2021

    Dear UConn students, staff, and faculty,

    I am writing to you today to update you that this past month there were two separate reported bias incidents targeting the LGBTQIA+ community on UConn’s campus.

    On March 16, an RA in Alumni Hall found images drawn on a dry-erase board in the lounge space. These images referenced the LGBTQIA+ community in a disparaging manner. The Residential Life staff communicated with and offered support to the complainant and other identified witnesses as well as wrote a community response which can be found here.

    On March 20, it was reported that around 6:30pm a person in a car driving on North Eagleville Road yelled a derogatory term out the vehicle window.  The Dean of Students Office and the Rainbow Center have reached out to the students targeted and offered support.

    I would like to thank all of the individuals who reported the above bias incidents.  University administration is following the bias response protocol. This protocol is designed to assure that there are designated places to report incidents and identify potential interventions to remedy harm done.

    These acts of hate against the LGBTQIA+ community do not align with the University of Connecticut’s core values or the mission and values of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Rainbow Center.  LGBTQIA+ individuals comprise UConn’s students, staff, and faculty and are to be celebrated and affirmed as integral members of our global and diverse campus community.

    The Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Rainbow Center want to ensure that those affected by these particular bias incidents receive appropriate support.  Below is a list of different resources available to students, staff, and faculty.  Additionally, the Rainbow Center has designated 1:1 meetings hours held this Wednesday, March 31, and Friday, April 2, for anyone who would like to meet with Kelsey O’Neil to discuss this matter.   Please email the Rainbow Center at rainbowcenter@uconn.edu to reserve your space.   Furthermore, anyone wanting to learn more about queer theory/scholarship can also access the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department website.

    A list of resources to consult:

    Sincerely,

    Kelsey O’Neil, Director, Rainbow Center

    Dr. Frank Tuitt, Vice President/Chief Diversity Officer

    Campus Update 3/29/21

    Subject: Community Email

    Dear Residents of Belden Hall

    On March 16, 2021 there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.

    Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to the Residence Hall Director of Belden, Justin Kyle, at jkt@uconn.edu. As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decision; If you see something, say something. To your RA, or your Hall Director; Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community.

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Campus Update 3/12/21

    Subject: Middlesex Bias Response Newsletter

    Dear Residents of Middlesex,

    On Monday, March 1, 2021, around 8pm, a staff member noticed a bulletin board on the 3rd floor of Middlesex was vandalized with the phrase “All Lives Matter.” The bulletin board was about Black Owned Sustainable Fashion Brands. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.
    We will be having open office hours on Monday, 3/15/2021 at 11am via WebEx to discuss the impact this incident had on the community. If anyone has any further information about this incident, you are encouraged to attend. While this is not mandatory, we do expect that you all have an active part in building an inclusive community and hope that you can come to support members of your community who may have been negatively affected by this incident.

    As you move forward in immersing yourself into the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decisions; if you see something, say something. You can tell your RA or your Hall Director. Lastly, remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate these types of acts within your community.

    If you would like to further explore information regarding this matter, please continue reviewing the information in this newsletter.
    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form.

    Best,
    The North Campus Staff

     

    Anti-Asian Violence & Bias

    Subject: Anti-Asian Violence & Bias

    Dear UConn Community,

    One of the most alarming and upsetting developments of the past year stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic has been a surge of hate crimes, bias incidents, and racist bullying directed against the Asian community throughout our country. Since the pandemic began last year, many Asians and Asian Americans around the United States have been the target of acts of hate and violence, with a disturbing number of crimes directed against the elderly.

    Make no mistake: The hatred that lies behind these crimes is not new. Violence against Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities has deep roots in the history of the United States. It is the duty of each one of us to face up to that history, and to the contemporary manifestations of it that happen on our streets, businesses, and schools every day.

    As a scholarly community devoted to the highest principles of human achievement, UConn must stand resolutely against hatred, discrimination, and violence when directed at Asians, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, or anyone else targeted by these malignant forces.

    We can start by doing something as simple as reaching out to our friends, fellow students, and colleagues to offer our support, friendship, and care. The pressure that the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander members of our community are facing is intense, and by refusing to be bystanders to hate, by offering to stand in solidarity with our fellow Huskies, we can help ease that pressure.

    Additionally, I am encouraging all of us to attend the virtual seminar Asians in America: Anti-Asian Violence & the Fight against Invisibility, scheduled for Thursday, March 18 at 5 p.m. We should all also become familiar with the resources and perspectives of the Asian American Cultural Center, which provides a welcoming and sustaining environment for students, faculty, and staff.  Another important resource is the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, which is at the center of intellectual efforts to advance knowledge related to the experiences of people of Asian descent. This institute has been a vital partner in the mobilization of responses to anti-Asian violence and a longtime advocate for racial justice.

    The national surge in hate crimes and bias incidents can be severely damaging to mental health, even for those who have not directly been victims. We are a community that cares for each other.  As such, remember to seek help if you need it. UConn offers a number of resources to provide support during this time, including Student Health and Wellness, the Dean of Students Office, and our Cultural Centers. Faculty and staff can seek support from the Employee Assistance Program. Support and resources for faculty and staff can also be found through campus affinity groups. All of these resources are available whether you are located on campus or remotely.

    Most importantly, I want to offer my personal commitment to the Asian and Asian American members of the UConn community: You are seen and heard. Your history, your struggle, and your contributions are not invisible, but an essential and indispensable part of the University of Connecticut. This is a painful time, but I know that together we will overcome this challenge.

    Sincerely,

    Tom

    --

    Thomas Katsouleas

    President, University of Connecticut

     

    Campus Update 2/22/21

    Subject: Campus Update 2/22/21

    Dear Colleagues,

    I am writing to share an update on two recent bias incidents on the Storrs campus.

    On Friday, a swastika was found drawn on the wall of the men’s bathroom in the Biology/Physics Building. Later that day, the University was also informed of graffiti of an anti-Black racial slur discovered in the same facility. These actions are abhorrent and harmful to the diverse students, faculty, and staff who call UConn home.

    We are appreciative of the individuals who reported the graffiti to the University through inform.uconn.edu. The UConn Police are investigating the incident and University administration is following bias response protocol. The graffiti has been removed, after the police were able to document it.  At this time, the individual or individuals responsible have not been identified. Although it is likely that additional investigative leads will be limited, should the individuals responsible be identified, we will share that information.

    Our bias response protocol has several objectives, including raising awareness when these incidents occur, providing information about the University’s response, and offering resources to support affected communities and educate our community. Given the public location of this incident, we cannot determine all of the populations who may have encountered this graffiti, so we are reaching this broader group to ask for your help in sharing this information and resources with your faculty, staff, and students.

    A list of resources to consult:

    These incidents are troubling and show we still have work to do in building a community and culture that is inclusive of all our diverse members. We appreciate your partnership as leaders in identifying bias incidents and connecting your communities to resources to recognize and respond to acts that threaten the safety and well-being of members of our community.

    If you have further questions, you are welcome to reach out to any member of the Provost’s Office leadership team, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Dean of Students.

    Sincerely,

    Carl

    Carl Lejuez

    Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

     

    Campus Update 2/18/21

    Subject: Campus Update 2/18/21

    Dear Residents of Baldwin, Hurley, and McConaughy Hall-

    On Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 it was brought to our attention that an incident occurred that is considered to be bias related in nature. An RA Board pertaining to Black History Month was torn down in Hurley Hall. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.

    If you would like to discuss the impact that this incident had on you or the greater community, please reach out to arrange for a time for us to meet.

    We expect that you all have an active part in building an inclusive community. As you move forward in immersing yourself into the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decisions; if you see something, say something. You can tell your RA or your Hall Director. Lastly, remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate these types of acts within your community.

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Best,
    HDs Josue & Joey

    Joey Gentile

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    Residence Hall Director | North Campus

    University of Connecticut | Department of Residential Life

    Office: (860)-486-5550 | joseph.gentile@uconn.edu

     

    Campus Update 2/5/21

    Subject: Bias Incident Community Meeting Notification

    Dear Residents of Hanks 3rd Floor,

    On January 30, 2021 there was an incident that occurred where a racial slur, specifically the n-word, was used repeatedly. The university is considering this incident to be bias related in nature. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.

    We will be having a community meeting on Tuesday February 9, 2021 at 4:30pm via Webex to discuss the impact this incident had on the community. The link for this meeting will be sent out earlier in the day on the 9th. While this is not mandatory, we do expect that you all have an active part in building an inclusive community and hope that you can come to support members of your community who may have been negatively affected by this incident.

    This meeting is the first step to helping rebuild trust within our community. But as you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decision; if you see something, say something. To your RA, or your Hall Director; Remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate acts within your community.

    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. Our goal in Residence Life is to not only educate the people involved in incidents such as these, but the community as a whole to try and help everyone have a deeper understanding of how all forms of bias impacts us all. In preparation for our meeting, please watch the following videos as we will be using them to drive our conversation:

    The N-Word “Double Standard”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LK-j8ZED44

    The N-Word Through History: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Yv2BnfbUFs

    How the N-Word Became the “Atomic Bomb of Racial Slurs”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8g3V2gzY7Q

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form (https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/). If you have any questions or concerns about this incident or meeting, please reach out to your RA Aaron, HD Victoria Clark, or myself. I hope to see you on Tuesday.

    Thank you,

    Blake Sherman, M.Ed.
    He | Him | His
    Residence Hall Director: Northwest Quadrangle
    Department of Residential Life – Residence Education
    The University of Connecticut
    1346 Storrs Road, Unit 4238
    Storrs, CT 06269

    Bias Response Data: Our Ongoing Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity at UConn

    Subject: Bias Response Data: Our Ongoing Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity 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:

    At the end of the Fall semester, Dr. Tuitt and I had an important conversation with university leaders and student leaders in USG about the University’s response to bias incidents on campus.  As a group we came to the following conclusions:

    • Bias occurs at UConn. We hurt and harm the identities of others through words and actions that disparage and demean the myriad of identities we hold.  Whether that identity is reflective of race, gender, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation or religion, they should be cherished, not ridiculed.
    • We must tell our story, no matter how imperfect.  In doing we so, we accept that diversity, equity, and inclusion matter.  Because they matter, we must own our mistakes and seek to gain awareness and understanding.

    With these conclusions in mind, we write to update you on our continued work as we enter the Spring semester.

    • Last semester, the University launched the Inform site.  As part of a collaborative process with students and colleagues across our campuses, our goal was to create a resource that is easy to access and encourages disclosures of behavior that violates the values and policies of the University of Connecticut.
    • We must be forthcoming and share when incidents occur.  To that end, the Dean of Students site will now routinely share bias incidents that have been reported through the bias incident protocol.
    • Beginning later this month, the University will begin training members of the staff, including the President’s Cabinet, on restorative practice as a technique for addressing the hurt and harm caused be bias and discrimination.  We are thankful to the partnership we have developed with Dr. Stacey Miller, of The Consortium for Inclusion & Equity.

    Today we share with you our assessment of incidents reported through the bias response protocol over the course of the Fall semester of 2020.  This is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to you to share which issues of bias occur at UConn.

    A note on understanding incidents shared through the bias response protocol:

    • All referrals are taken seriously and are considered by Community Standards and, when appropriate, UCPD.
    • Not all bias referrals result in violations of The Student Code.  Regardless of whether there are conduct violations, the University will utilize it resources to support impacted students.
    • Some incident referrals apply to multiple identities.  As a result, a bias type may be ‘counted’ more than once.

    Over the course of the Fall 2020 semester, the University received 44 bias referrals.  For a population of over 20,000 students, this shows us two things.  First, one referral is too many.  When we assume that our words and actions can be dismissed as a joke or a late night act of poor judgement, we negatively impact a community that holds many identities.  Second, we are better than these random actions. The number of cases is relatively small in comparison with the care and concern that students routinely demonstrate for one another.

    The predominance of bias behavior last semester varies tremendously and include words and actions that inappropriately target the identities shared above.  While we cherish the value of free speech in a university setting, that does not diminish the impact of hateful words.  Free speech is a right and a privilege that insists that we reflect upon and utilize language that values, not diminishes, the identity of others.

    Finally, the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion partner to provide support to impacted students and student groups.   A resolution on the chart below reflects our response as it relates to a specific incident.  This information is also shared with colleagues throughout the university to further develop programming and training in areas of diversity and inclusive practice.

    When reviewing bias referrals, most resulted in support provided to impacted students and intentional conversation with students.  It is very rare that a bias referral results in a severe sanction under the Student Code.  This is disappointing for those who wish greater accountability for hurtful actions that are, despite the harm they cause, protected speech.  Regardless of whether an investigation or referral results in a sanction under the student code, students who commit those actions have their behavior addressed by the University through direct engagement.

    As our state’s flagship university, we embrace our core values of innovation, leadership, global engagement and diversity. Yet, as reflected in our bias data, we must continue to strive to full actualize these values as a University.  Dr Tuitt, President Katsouleas, Provost Lejuez and all our students, faculty, and staff join us in that journey.

    More to come.

    Eleanor JB Daugherty
    Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

    Frank Tuitt
    Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

    Campus Update 1/26/21

    Subject: Campus Update 1/26/21

    Dear Residents of Eddy Hall,

    On January 16, 2021 there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature. A staff member noticed that the gender neutral bathrooms had the words “Men” and “Women” on two different doors. This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.

    We will be having an open office our on January 27, 2021 at 3pm via Webex, https://uconn- cmr.webex.com/uconn-cmr/j.php?MTID=m35dd584f5d25004f5b2c1df2fa351a85, to serve as a processing space for those who would like to connect with a pro staff member. You are free to attend at any point of the hour and all are welcome.

    Below is a newsletter with great information, on gender identity and why it is important to have gender neutral bathrooms. If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Veronica Roberts Residence Hall Director Alumni Quadrangle University of Connecticut

    Department of Residential Life She/Her/Hers

    Campus Update 1/22/21

    Subject: Campus Update 1/22/21

    Dear Residents of Baldwin,

    During move-in weekend there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature. A staff member addressed a guest about mask compliance and the guest responded by saying, “What are you, the Nazi Police?” This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving 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.

    We will be having open office hours on Wednesday, January 27th from 1:30-2:30PM via WebEx https://uconn-cmr.webex.com/meet/jrg13018 to discuss the impact this incident had on the community. While this is not mandatory, we do expect that you all have an active part in building an inclusive community and hope that you can come to support members of your community who may have been negatively affected by this incident.

    As you move forward in immersing yourself into the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact. We can be proactive and not reactive to situations like this by making the following changes in our daily behaviors: Hold your peers accountable for their decisions; if you see something, say something. You can tell your RA or your Hall Director. Lastly, remind your guests that you are responsible for their behavior and that you will not tolerate these types of acts within your community.

    If you would like to further explore information regarding the impact words can have on others, please click here. Additionally, if you would like to review more information on religion and identity, please click here.

    If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form. https://dos.uconn.edu/bias-reporting-2/

    Best,

    The North Campus Staff

    Residence Hall Directors | North Campus

    University of Connecticut | Department of Residential Life Office: (860)-486-5550

    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