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BIAS RESPONSE TEAM LETTER

 


 


 

FEBRUARY 16, 2018

 


 

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Dear UVM Community,

 

Yesterday, on February 15, 2018, we learned that two (2) 3x5 inch note cards were taped to the Mosaic Center for Students of Color (MCSC) display case window in the Davis Center Tunnel.  The note cards read, “White Privelaged [sic] And Proud of It” and “Innocent Lives Matter Not Guilty Ones”. The Bias Response Team has worked closely with UVM Police Services and currently we are unable to identify who posted the note cards on the display case.
 
While the messages on the cards may seem benign to some, and do not constitute a University policy violation, numerous students, staff, and faculty members have expressed tremendous hurt, frustration, and concern with seeing these messages on the MCSC display case. The note cards were placed in violation of the University's posting policy and were removed.
 
As a Bias Response Team, we want to be clear that we condemn these hurtful and exclusionary messages and we affirm everyone who is a part of our community. We recognize that we are living in a time where there is political and ideological unrest nationally and locally. We, too, are facing challenges with campus climate and people of color not feeling seen and valued.
 
WE get to determine the type of community we want to be. As the Bias Response Team, we stand in solidarity with our communities of color.
 
If you are reading this message, we hope YOU know that you belong and we need your help to make this a campus where everyone is seen, heard, valued and uplifted. If you feel you need immediate support, we encourage you to call
Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS) for students or Invest EAP for employees.
 
To continue this dialogue in COMMUNITY, we are holding an optional Community Gathering on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 in the Silver Maple Ballroom from 4:30 - 6:30 pm. This space is open to all members of the UVM community and will be facilitated by Jilliene Johnson and Dennis DePaul from the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Students. During our time together, we will create a space to talk about the impact this incident has had on our community and share in a space to create messages that are affirming of our beliefs.
 
We ask that you continue to uplift our community and join us for deeper dialogue.

With care,

UVM Bias Response Team

Jilliene Johnson, Diversity, Engagement, and Professional Development Director  (Chair)
Tim Bilodeau, Sargent of UVM Police Services (Member)
Sarah Childs, Assistant Director of the Mosaic Center for Students of Color (Member)
Beverly Colston, Director of the Mosaic Center for Students of Color (Interim Member)
Sarah Helmer, Assistant Dean (Member)
Kim Martin, Director of Student Conduct (Member)
Joe Russell, Assistant Dean of Students for Retention (Member)
Kelli Perkins, Associate Director for Residential Education (Member)

 


 


 

 

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University of Vermont, Dean of Students Office · 41 South Prospect Street · Burlington, VT 05405 · USA