Concerns of Student Protestors

Below, find the concerns and recommendations presented by the students peacefully protesting and signed by Chancellor Syverud on Nov. 21, 2019. For each concern, the lead responsible party has been identified as well as the University's response and progress.

 

1. "Different punishments for different levels of involvement, including expulsion, for every student involved with the hate crimes committed in Day Hall, and any other incidents of racism that have occurred since, that are found to violate the student code of conduct."

Lead Responsible Party
Marianne Thomson, Associate Vice President, Student Experience and Dean of Students

Response
We agree that revisions to the Student Code of Conduct are appropriate to make even more clear the serious consequences for hate speech. We believe the current code of conduct already permits the punishment discussed, and both the text and communication about the code need to be improved. Current policies governing faculty, including the Faculty Handbook, already provide serious consequences for racial discrimination.

Revisions to the Student Code of Conduct will commence immediately and will be fully implemented no later than August 2020.

Progress
In Progress


2. "SEM 100 reform led by a diverse group of students and faculty to curate a curriculum that accurately addresses diversity issues in the 21st century and how they are influenced by history."

Lead Responsible Party
Michele Wheatly, Provost

Response
The Provost agrees to this recommendation for the Fall 2020 SEM 1OO course. SEM 1OO was always intended to be a short term initiative, to be replaced in 2021 with a more comprehensive diversity and inclusion curriculum reform. The University acknowledges that the Fall 2020 SEM 1OO course needs to fix the deficiencies of the Fall 2019 SEM 1OO course. We will work to achieve that for 2020, investing more resources in pursuit of better learning outcomes. The Provost will include a diverse group of students and faculty in leading this work.

With regard to the more comprehensive diversity and inclusion reform, the existing senate ad hoc committees will increase their work with students and faculty to develop a robust and comprehensive set of credit­ bearing, required courses to meet these learning objectives. The Provost calls upon schools and colleges and the University Senate—the bodies that control curriculum changes—to work constructively and proactively on this and quickly pass these reforms when they are fully developed.

Progress
In Progress


3. "Institute a clause in new faculty and staff contracts that requires mandatory diversity trainings, as well as new diversity hires. Current faculty and staff who are not tenured should have to attend new diversity trainings."

Lead Responsible Party
LaVonda Reed, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs

Response
We agree that the terms and conditions of employment for all new faculty and staff will require diversity and inclusion training. All faculty and staff also will complete an annual training in discrimination and unconscious bias as part of required training under state law. In addition to mandatory training, we will continue to enhance programs open to faculty and staff to promote diversity and inclusion.

Progress
In Progress


4. "The university agrees that there will be no consequences or sanctions arising for students who are participating in the sit in as a result of their participation in the sit in."

Lead Responsible Party
Marianne Thomson, Associate Vice President, Student Experience and Dean of Students

Response
The University agrees. As Chancellor Syverud has indicated in interactions with the students, there will be no student disciplinary action in the current circumstances for Barnes Center student participators who have engaged in nonviolent protest and constructive dialogue on these vital concerns.

Progress
Resolved


5. "We would like to engage with the administration to strengthen or clarify the current anti-harassment policy regarding the use of abusive, threatening, or harassing hate speech to deliver the message that targeted use of hate speech is unacceptable."

Lead Responsible Party
Marianne Thomson, Associate Vice President, Student Experience and Dean of Students

Response
We agree. While the current anti-harassment policy addresses hate speech, we will engage promptly with students on how to clarify the policy.

Progress
In Progress


6. "A housing portal (such as My College Roomie or Roomsync) should be implemented as an option in the roommate selection process to allow future residents to choose a roommate based on mutual interests and ideRaties, as well as the expansion and promotion of multicultural learning communities (LCs) to more residence halls on campus, including upper division and mixed ­population communities."

Lead Responsible Party
Marianne Thomson, Associate Vice President, Student Experience and Dean of Students

Response
The University commits to working with students on this issue and on the future development of multicultural learning communities. There are legal aspects of roommate selection by identity that will constrain any solutions; selection of a roommate based on mutual interests can be enhanced in our process.

Progress
In Progress


7. "The Chancellor will strongly urge to Board of Trustees to create an open forum for students to share their student experience and express the expectations of their university to the Board of Trustees of Syracuse University. This forum should be held twice a year, along with monthly updates written by students for Trustees."

Lead Responsible Party
Dolan Evanovich, SVP of Enrollment and the Student Experience

Response
The Board of Trustees is and has been committed to the core values of diversity and inclusion at Syracuse University. The Board, led by Chair Kathy Walters, does engage in periodic updates on the University's diversity and inclusion efforts. As the University implements these responses, the Board will focus on progress in this area. In addition, the Board of Trustees—through its Student Affairs Committee and through student representatives to the Board—regularly engages with student leaders, including from the Undergraduate Student Association and the Graduate Student Organization.

We encourage students to participate with these shared governance bodies, including through their regular reports and interactions with the board. We will facilitate education and involvement of students with the SA and GSO board representatives.

Progress
In Progress


8. "In order for the Office of Student Living to properly implement housing changes, OSL should be allocated more funding for RA training, programming and other multicultural events."

Lead Responsible Party
Marianne Thomson, Associate Vice President, Student Experience and Dean of Students

Response
We agree that, as our housing changes­—including in response to the housing study due to be completed in May 2020—there will need to be greater resources allocated to these areas. We will work with appropriate student representatives, including the Residence Halls Association and others, to identify and allocate these resources starting in spring 2020.

Progress
In Progress


9. "Agree to hire more counselors that better represent all marginalized identities on campus and more counselors with language fluency before the Fall 2020 semester begins, allow students to select their own counselor and enhance any current diversity & inclusion training, mandatory for both new and current counselors."

Lead Responsible Party
Rob Hradsky, Vice President for the Student Experience

Response
The University has now opened four additional counselor positions (and has hired four counselors in the past year who self-identify as people of color). Three of our existing counselors speak multiple languages.

For the open positions, the University agrees to be attentive to experience and training in mental health issues of marginalized communities. They will be hired before the Fall 2020 semester begins. New and current counselors will attend, as is currently the practice, at least five on-campus events and trainings on diversity and inclusion each year. The University will carefully work to identify appropriate enhancements to diversity and inclusion training for counselors.

The University's faculty hiring plan will continue to include emphasis on enhancing diversity.

Progress
In Progress


10. "Agree to the development of a building for multicultural offices, including scholarship offices, organizations, and programs, moving the existing offices for students of color to this new location. This building should exist as a headquarters for these programs and offices; however, we would like to see these offices and programs represented across campus."

Lead Responsible Party
Keith Alford, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Response
The University agrees to address these concerns, and indeed University leaders have been working on this for the past several months. As new and renovated buildings open in 2020, new and vacated spaces will become available to provide both central hubs and distributed programs across campus. Working with student representatives, the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Vice President and Chief Campus Facilities Officer, the Diversity and Inclusion Council and the Campus Facilities Advisory Board, the University will appropriately meet these concerns.

Progress
In Progress


11. "Agree to allocate necessary funds to support current students of color in alleviating financial burdens." 

Lead Responsible Party
Dolan Evanovich, SVP for Enrollment and the Student Experience

Response
The University agrees with this goal. The University agrees that this is a priority in budgeting and fundraising.

Progress
In Progress


12. "Individual Diversity be added to the factors considered when admitting students to colleges through the intra-university transfer process."

Lead Responsible Party
John Liu, Interim Provost

Response
Intra-university transfer policies vary by school and college. The University commits to working with the deans to address this concern. The Provost will report on changes to the intra-university transfer process by the end of spring semester.

Progress
In Progress


13. "Agree to the allocation of a minimum of $1 million for the creation of a unified, required curriculum that educates the campus on diversity issues, specifically anti-racism."

Lead Responsible Party
Steve Bennett, SVP Academic Operations

Response
The University agrees that the curricular change envisioned in the response to these concerns, including in connection with the changes to SEM 100 in Fall 2020 and the new course in Fall 2021, will require substantial resources. We believe those resources will be no less than $1 million. The University commits to allocating at least $1 million and whatever additional appropriate resources are needed.

Progress
In Progress


14. "Monthly updates about every long-term demand be sent via email, publicized through Syracuse University media outlets, and the development of a website where demand updates can be tracked by the public."

Lead Responsible Party
Dara Royer, SVP, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Response
The University will post monthly updates for this year, including in SU News and SU Today. Beginning in January 2020, a page will be added to the diversity.syr.edu site to track progress on all goals. Going forward, the University will assess improvements to all communications so that all in our community receive timely information about all efforts to support our values of diversity and inclusion.

Progress
In Progress


15. "Make the diversity training Progress of tenured professors readily available through this public website up to the extent permitted by law. And make the completion of the required diversity and inclusion training part of the requirements for tenure."

Lead Responsible Party
Lavonda Reed, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs

Response
We agree that the terms and conditions of employment for all new faculty and staff will require diversity and inclusion training. All faculty and staff also will complete an annual training in discrimination and unconscious bias as part of required training under state law. In addition to mandatory training, we will continue to enhance programs open to faculty and staff to promote diversity and inclusion. The University will commit to making public aggregate data by school and college each academic year. The University will not violate privacy law by identifying faculty by name, but rather will use accountability measures to enforce compliance. The Provost will hold deans accountable for the performance of their faculty.

Progress
In Progress


16. "Syracuse takes initiative to equalize treatment of multicultural Greek Life and acknowledge the unique challenges multicultural Greek life faces."

Lead Responsible Party
Rob Hradsky, Vice President for the Student Experience

Response
The University agrees with this objective. We will consult with the Multicultural Greek Council on progress on steps to implement this objective.

Progress
In Progress


17. "The university agrees that when racially- motivated incidents which impacts the larger campus community occur, Administration will respond within a maximum of 48 hours."

Lead Responsible Party
Tony Callisto, SVP Campus Safety and Chief Law Enforcement Officer

Response
The University is committed to overhauling our historic reporting process. Pursuant to protocol to be further developed in consultation with all stakeholders, and unless disclosure to the community would impede an investigation, the Department of Public Safety and the Syracuse University administration will inform the community of concerning racially motivated incidents within a maximum of 48 hours.

Progress
In Progress


18. "We demand consistent levels of engagement from the Chancellor with minority communities, specifically a mandatory annual State of the University Address as it relates to the student of color experience."

Lead Responsible Party
Chancellor Kent Syverud

Response
Chancellor Syverud will address issues of diversity and inclusion in his January address as well as in update messages at the start of each semester. The Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer will also provide an annual report and update.

Chancellor Syverud and University leaders also commit to working collaboratively with students to create regular opportunities for engagement during the Spring 2020 semester.

Progress
In Progress


19. "Syracuse University expands and invests in student volunteer opportunities to better serve underserved and low-income communities in the city of Syracuse."

Lead Responsible Party
Bea González, Vice President Community Engagement

Response
The University is committed to making significant investments in student volunteer opportunities to better serve the underserved and low-income communities in the city of Syracuse.

Progress
In Progress