Campus Bias Communications

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

Bias Response Communication academic year 2021-2022

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