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Do not be silent

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Do not be silent.

We, the administrators of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, choose to not be silent. We are obligated to build and maintain a learning and workplace environment where people and their identities are recognized and valued. The reality is that we continue to see many acts of hate and violence across the U.S. and on university campuses directed against people from minoritized populations.  KU has not been immune from this overall environment. In just the past few weeks, a banner endorsing “Black Lives Matter” was stolen from the Ecumenical Campus Ministries on Jayhawk Blvd, and a transgender woman student of color was the target of a malicious transphobic verbal group assault on our central campus. 

When any member of our community is disrespected or singled out for abuse because of their identity, we fall short of our goal of being a campus that is inclusive and safe for all our students, faculty and staff. It is important for us to know when incidents occur that threaten the safety and overall welfare of students, staff, and faculty. If you have concerns, we invite you to reach out to the College, or to a trusted faculty or staff member. You can also report acts of violence, harassment and discrimination to the KU Public Safety Office (kupso@ku.edu, 785-864-5900) and Institutional Opportunity & Access (ioa@ku.edu, 785-864-6414). We will work together on solutions. And if we fall short, we welcome your voices.  We are working hard to keep connected with what is happening, and we will rely on our students, faculty and staff to help us know where we still have work to do.

As College leaders and members of the KU community, we must speak out against hateful and harmful acts.  We must also seek ways to show support and understanding. The return of the ECM banner and the addition of “Black Lives Matter” to the marquee at the Granada downtown indicate that members of our community want to move toward a better tomorrow and are willing to do their part. Our hope is that our united voice will encourage your active vigilance, contribution, advocacy, and construction of a safer world, safer U.S., and safer KU. 

Signed,

Carl Lejuez

Dean

 

Paul Atchley

Henry Bial

Bob Goldstein

Jennifer Hamer

Paul Kelton

Jim Mielke

Associate Deans