'Welcoming all people onto our campus is at the core of who we are'
In the wake of the presidential election, President Johnson and Provost Carman reassure campus that University remains an inclusive and diverse place.
(Note: The following is a joint letter from President Marc Johnson and Provost Kevin Carman to the campus community.)
The presidential election has given us all an opportunity to ponder and discuss the future of our country, and, as well, to remind ourselves of the core values of our University.
Our President-Elect has used very derogatory and divisive terms related to people of diverse religions, races, national origins, disabilities and genders. It is our sincere hope that these comments from leadership are not taken as license for others to denigrate anyone. As a University, we are committed to fostering a campus environment that respects, supports and values all members of our wonderfully diverse learning community. Through our words and our actions, we honor every individual who studies and works at the University. We feel very strongly that our diversity is one our greatest assets; it not only makes our institution whole, it allows all of us to realize our fullest potential as human beings. Through a culture of mutual respect and compassion, we create an environment where all individuals work with, learn from, and study with people from all backgrounds. These interactions and relationships enrich all of our lives, and help to deepen our understanding of all people. Sharing a wide diversity of experiences and ideas, and welcoming all people from all walks of life onto our campus, are at the core of who we are as an institution.
The work of any University, even on its best day, is often difficult. While the world around us can at times feel rancorous and divided, our entire campus has an exceedingly important role for our community, our state and our nation. Our abiding responsibility is to ensure that people have the freedom to think and talk about all ideas, openly and safely, while they are on our campus; and, once they leave our campus, for them to exercise similar freedoms in the most respectful and thoughtful manner in the service and betterment of our society.
We have a number of resources on our campus that help us nurture a more inclusive, diverse and safe learning environment. They are available to all of us, and we highly encourage the entire campus community to make note of them and to use them in the event you feel you need help, or wish to seek out aid in dealing with uncomfortable or unwanted situations. We believe our campus culture is inclusive and safe, and feel these resources help individuals have a supportive and positive experience on our campus:
A team of professional counselors is committed to promoting student safety and empowerment through training, education and support in personal safety and sexual assault prevention;
The Equal Opportunity and University Title IX Office is committed to ensuring that people on our campus have the right to an education and to advance in employment without fear of discrimination. Please report any unwanted situations to the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office at 775-784-1547.
The University has ongoing "Diversity Dialogues" that are held monthly throughout the academic year. Our next "Diversity Dialogue" is scheduled for today, Nov. 10, from 3-4 p.m. in the Graduate Student Lounge of the Joe Crowley Student Union.
In addition, the University has ongoing efforts to promote campus safety. These include:
The "Safe Pack" mobile app that gives users access to campus information and personal safety tools. SafePack is available in the Apple Store and Google Play;
The University offers a campus escort service which provides a safe transportation option;
A 24-hour Sexual Assault/Sexual Misconduct Hotline allows students, faculty and staff to report incidents that occur on or off campus. The caller may remain anonymous if he/she chooses; the hotline number is 775-784-1030;
Stationed throughout the main campus and the Redfield Campus parking lot are "blue light phones" that allow quick access to "911" and emergency assistance.
In closing, we sincerely hope that our campus, our community, our state, and our nation will use this moment in our history as a reminder that America is at its strongest when we foster a spirit of respect and compassion. We can do this by making every effort in the weeks and months to come to rise above the divisiveness of the past political campaign, and to come to a better understanding of our differences through respectful dialogue and the common ground of empathy and understanding. Talk often and share experiences. Listen carefully and when appropriate, provide support and guidance. The University of Nevada, Reno is a campus for everyone. Let's protect this fundamental value.
Marc Johnson, President
Kevin Carman, Provost