Last night, I was informed about a highly offensive and racist video that was posted online. The video, which incorporated footage from a student demonstration on Terrell Mall on the Pullman campus in November, was intended to cause pain to our community of color at WSU. It directly impacted our students of color studying for final exams.
I have said this before and will repeat it once again. The attitudes, the behavior, and the language expressed in the video are not acceptable. It’s not acceptable to me, our senior leadership, or the greater Cougar community. Individuals with those beliefs are not welcome in our community.
We will recommit, in our actions as well as our words, to building a truly welcoming and inclusive environment at WSU. We are not progressing quickly enough. I have directed our Provost and Executive Vice President Dan Bernardo and Vice President for Student Affairs Mary Jo Gonzales to begin working with our students, faculty, and staff on ways to continue to improve our campus climate and formally respond to the ideas members of campus are bringing forward to address these issues.
I have asked that we have a preliminary report completed and distributed to the WSU campus community by June 1. In order to keep the community informed of progress, we will also create a web page where the community can provide input about our efforts, suggest ideas for us to implement, and hold us accountable for living the values we espouse at WSU.
I remain confident that by utilizing the passion, talent, and great ideas of our WSU faculty, staff, and students that we will do better and continue on our journey toward inclusion for all.
Kirk Schulz, President
Washington State University