What You Can Do
The University encourages the gathering of people having diverse experiences and perspectives. You can contribute to and benefit from the community by exploring the different viewpoints and ideas that are represented. Following are some suggestions on what you can do to promote a healthy campus climate:
- Think before you speak. Consider whether your expression of ideas and opinions may be hurtful or offensive to someone else.
- Speak out against hate. If you are uncomfortable about a joke or statement that has been made, explain why it is not tolerable.
- Recognize your own stereotypes and prejudices.
- Be open to and respectful of what you can learn from others, both inside and outside the classroom, without prejudging or dismissing their opinions. Disagreements and open debates are expected, but remember to remain respectful of other points of view.
- Serve as a positive role model.
- Support the victim and listen to what she/he has to say. Victims of hate have been attacked simply because of who they are and tend to feel especially vulnerable. You can help victims by assuring them that they are valued members of our community. Visit or call the victim and show that you care. If the crime includes damage to property, gather your friends to help clean up-but not until the investigation is completed.
- Broaden your experience. Attend campus lectures and workshops, participate in cultural events and hate/bias crime prevention training. Take a course in human diversity, or join an organization promoting diversity and social justice.
- Work with community leaders to form organizations and offer resources to assist victims and to prevent future hate incidents and crimes.
- Make others feel included and valued in the community.
If you witness or are the target of discrimination, hate incidents, or other offensive behaviors, the following suggestions will help you should you wish to file a report or complaint:
- Photograph offensive graffiti, physical injuries, and evidence of vandalism.
- Save any evidence, including offensive e-mail, text, or voice-mail messages.
- Write a chronology of the event, which may assist you later in recalling the facts:
- the exact words that were spoken
- a description of the perpetrator and his or her vehicle
- exactly where and when the incident occurred
- names, addresses, and telephone numbers of other victims and any witnesses
- Make photocopies of hate mail or any other pertinent documents.
- Keep a log of hate calls.