Letter to the Editor:
Acts of harassment and intimidation have once again touched members of our university community. Several incidents of racism and anti-Semitism have occurred in our residence halls in the last week. Last fall, we experienced bias-related incidents (racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism) in selected academic units and student services areas. These incidents threaten the very safety of members of our university community and negatively impact the climate.
It is very important to us that the students, staff and faculty of WSU know exactly where the university stands on hate crimes and other threats to our academic community. Hate has no place at WSU. Acts of intimidation and harassment will not be tolerated whether it be from within our university community or from outside.
As your president and provost, we are committed to the promotion of social justice. As an institution, we reject all expressions of discrimination, including those based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, socioeconomic status, status within or outside the university, or any other differences among people that have been excuses for misunderstanding, dissension or hatred. We are committed to providing an academic setting that is supportive of all our students, faculty and staff.
We are confident that a large majority of the members of our university community and of the larger community share our commitment to provide a supportive and culturally diverse environment. We will speak out, and we urge faculty, staff and students to speak out for social justice and to empower a sense of shared community in which individual differences are not only respected but also celebrated. To this end, a number of activities have been planned for the upcoming year, and we will make sure that information about these events is widely distributed.
We will work closely with key administrators and university offices to maximize the efficiency of university resources devoted to eliminating all acts of malicious harassment and to create a hate-free university. Many of our efforts will be coordinated with the cities of Pullman and Moscow, as well as the University of Idaho. For your information, we have provided a list of useful resources and phone numbers below. If you are a victim, or learn of an act of harassment or any other threats, please call the police, or 911, immediately.
Each of us has an obligation to the community of which we are a part to build a true sense of shared community and purpose based on mutual respect and caring. It is our sincere intention to ensure that the spirit of community and mutual respect guides the actions of the students, staff and faculty of WSU.
Samuel H. Smith Gretchen M. Bataille
President Provost and Academic Vice President
Police: 911 Campus Police: 335-8548 Residence Life: 335-2611
Multicultural Student Services: 335-7852 Center for Human Rights: 335-8288
Women’s Resource Center: 335-6849 GBLA Allies Program: 335-6428
Coalition for Human Dignity: 503/281-5823 Conflict Resolution Program: 335-6648
Hate Free University/Community Working Group: 335-9141 Counseling Services: 335-4511