By Eliana Ayala
Community Colleges and universities across the country unite to ensure that diversity is welcome and plead to stop discriminatory acts within campus. Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, Erik Skinner released a statement on November 10, 2016 encouraging students to disregard racist remarks upon presidential elections and pursue college.
California Community Colleges want students to know that immigration status information will remain confidential. Student services will remain available to students regardless of their legal status. The message is also to inform that there are DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) centers to provide alternative financial resources to assist with college tuition for students with an array of legal status.
Some colleges even say it is a goal to gain a larger population of students that come from wide ranged demographics. Some universities released statements in response to offensive and unlawful behavior occurring among students.
A photo went viral post election day when a student of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a friend posed in blackface with a confederate flag background.
Brad Colwell, Interim Chancellor of the university refers to the presidential elections as “extremely divisive.” He does not condemn freedom of speech however he asks students to use that right “wisely and respectfully.”
Chancellors of the University of California responded November 9, 2016 by referring to their policies against discrimination. The Universities published a unanimous message and describes diversity as an important factor of the college’s mission.
The statement ensures students that upon elections they will remain undisturbed in their efforts to be in an environment where “all are given an equal opportunity to learn and explore.”
The universities encourage all students and staff to abide by the rules by respecting one another in order to convey a “positive message to others in our state and nation.”
Brown University released a heartfelt message following the vandalism of American flags the night before their Veteran’s Day ceremony. Brown welcomes a growing number of attendees to their annual ceremony which include veterans, families of veterans and student Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) participants.
The flags were restored before the ceremony however the damage was done as President Christina Paxson describes her disappointment of the vandals who failed to acknowledge the true goal of the ceremony, to honor those who have served our country.
These messages are directed to all students and staff. This message is an assertion as well as a reminder to everyone involved with the colleges that discrimination and harassment policies will remain a zero tolerance issue on campus.
The statements discussed above were not only focused on racism but discrimination in general. The colleges are asking for respect toward one another by refraining from attacking people for their differences whether it be ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual preference, etc.
These statements can be found on Association of American Colleges & Universities.org under Resources for Campus Leaders Crafting Messages in Response to Issues of Racial and Social Justice. The website asks all leaders to share their final messages.