An Open Letter to UA Students Regarding Student Affairs' Commitment to Opposing Racism
We have been hearing from many of you regarding a recent racist post circulating on social media which has resulted in members of our campus community experiencing a wide range of reactions- fear, anger, frustration, sadness, discomfort. Posts such as these, even when legally protected by the First Amendment, are in opposition to our values and leave members of our community feeling isolated and intimidated.
We remain committed to our values of inclusiveness, individual and cultural diversity, and respect for everyone.
Appropriate action will always be taken in response to such incidents on our campus. For example:
- We will continue to promote change and support diversity and inclusion on our campus.
- We are a community that values education, and together we will engage in challenging and respectful conversations to counteract the divisiveness of our times and encourage our understanding and respect for one another.
- We will all play a role in disrupting and changing the kind of thinking that leads an individual or group of individuals to act in ways which are hurtful and disrespectful to others in our campus community.
- We will work together to dismantle racism and other forms of social oppression on our campus and in our society. To do anything else is to be complicit in the pervasive harm caused by such oppression.
While we understand that it will take time to realize all of our aspirations of inclusion and diversity, we are committed to moving the process forward. As much as we would like to share specific information that may be related to specific incidents, we are limited by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
The Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education welcomes all students, all the time, to explore commonalities and engage difference. On the first Friday of each month, the Multicultural Center hosts an open house celebrating our students’ diverse lived experiences and inviting students new and familiar to the Center and its programs to visit for food and conversation. This Friday, March 2, the Multicultural Center is observing the start of Women’s History Month. In light of recent events and to build off the momentum of an active and lively Black History Month, the center now also invites students, staff, and faculty to attend in demonstrating our race-conscious commitment to a warm and inclusive campus community. Food will be served at 11:45, and staff from the Dean of Students office will enjoy meeting and talking with students.
Finally, let us reiterate that we want and need your support in transforming our community, and we welcome your thoughts and concerns. Please report all campus and community concerns to report.uark.edu.
Signed by the Dean of Students Office, Pat Walker Health Center, the Center for Diversity and Multicultural Education, and all of the Division of Student Affairs.