Message from President Roberts: Response to Hate Speech in Residence Hall

Dear Colleague,

I write with a heavy heart to inform you that the College was made aware that a post-it note containing racist hate speech was added to a bulletin board on a residential floor of the 7000 Campus Living building. Although this was associated with an activity to identify lyrics from a song and the lyrics are protected under expressive speech, they were posted anonymously in a public location. The note has since been removed and the College’s Bias Incident Response protocol has been activated.

In these difficult days of reckoning with the systemic racism in our country, let there be no doubt: Shoreline Community College does not tolerate hateful, violent, or discriminatory actions that target any person or group based on their beliefs, customs, identity, or affiliations.

If you encounter or suspect any concerning incidents at the College, please know there are actions you can take: 

  • If you are ever concerned for anyone’s physical safety or would like to report a crime, contact Safety & Security (206-546-4633), or 911 if it’s an emergency
  • Consult the Care team if you have a concern about a Shoreline Community College student or a Student Conduct Code violation
  • Report any campus bias incidents with the Bias Incident Report Form
  • Report any incidents that may rise to the level of a policy violation to our Title IX/EEO Coordinator (TitleIXCoordinator@shoreline.edu, 206-533-6746)
  • Familiarize yourself with the College’s powerful Community Standard statement

If you or anyone you know at the College is feeling distressed and in need of emotional or mental support, please know there are resources for you. Students are encouraged to access free counseling by phone or video chat with the Counseling Center (206-546-4594). Employees may access services and support any time through our Employee Assistance Program (877-313-4455).

With the recent social actions taking place around the killing of George Floyd and so many other Black Americans in the recent days, weeks, months, and years, you may be experiencing a range of strong emotions, as I am – exhaustion, anger, overwhelming sadness, discomfort, or stress. I urge each of us to acknowledge how we are feeling and to seek out resources to support ourselves. For some, that may mean connecting with supportive people or taking time to care for your physical and emotional health. For others, that may mean learning more about institutional racism, white privilege, and white supremacy. Whatever you are feeling, this is a moment for us to pause, reflect, and commit to ensuring acts of racism or discrimination find no cover at this College.

On Tuesday, June 9, from noon–1:00 p.m., all employees are invited to a special Zoom meeting to hold time for us to reflect, converse, support, and find healing together so that we can continue to be available to support our students who depend on us. This conversation will also help set the stage for the next academic year, in which we recommit as a College to addressing the ways in which race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, English proficiency, community wealth, familial situations, or other factors contribute to or perpetuate lower educational aspirations, achievement, and attainment for certain groups of students. Our hope is to build new competencies together in order to ensure our students have an equitable educational experience filled with care and support. Please watch for the Zoom link to be provided in an upcoming email.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke about this pent-up fury we are experiencing within our community and across the country. “There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair.” Our response needs to be one of action, not destruction or mere platitudes; to lift up and build each other up, not tear down for one’s own gain.

I hope you will join me in this collective effort.

Respectfully,
Cheryl Roberts, Ed.D.
President
Office of the President

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