Tag Archives: Sonia Manjon

Roth: Public Safety Will No Longer Include Race in Safety Alerts

“Diversity and Inclusion” will be theme for next fall’s Orientation, fall Board of Tustees retreat

In an all-campus email update yesterday, President Roth sent word that Public Safety will no longer include racial identifications in its safety alerts, an issue that has become increasingly contentious since Homecoming Weekend, when a sudden rash of safety incidents all described assailants as “African-American males.” The move has been recommended by a Public Safety Review  Committee, which consists of students, faculty, and staff members. From Roth’s note:

The committee has recommended that Public Safety modify campus safety alerts to provide descriptions of suspects without using race as a descriptor, and Public Safety has adopted this practice. The committee continues to review the department’s policies and protocols, web presence, and schedule of trainings. Ensuring that there is a clear path for reporting concerns to the department is important.

Roth’s attention to issues of diversity and racial profiling follows closely on November’s “Diversity University” forum, where the topic of alleged racial profiling took center stage, alongside claims of Public Safety misconduct (most notably, an incident involving Paulie Lowther ’13), hateful ACB remarks, and diversity sensitivity in general. A number of students of color took the microphone at that event, describing being singled out for suspicion and unwarranted hostility. “It’s your responsibility not only to protect us, but to get to know us,” a student demanded to Director of Public Safety Dave Meyer. A heated exchange followed between Meyer, who insisted that Public Safety is required by Connecticut law to include racial identifications in email alerts, and Visiting Professor of English and African-American Studies Sarah Mahurin, who claimed that Yale—where she completed her graduate work—does not include race in its reports. (Meyer disputed this claim; a current Yale law student later verified it in an email to Wesleying.)

Roth Provides Opportunity to Move Community Forward

I, for one, would be happy to see this kind of thing more often.

A few days ago, President Michael Roth sent out an open letter to the campus community, commenting on the values that bring us together, noting the value of discussion in times of crisis, and speaking out against attempts to incite divisions within our campus community, echoing Barack Obama’s recent sentiment about strength in diverse opinions and passions united through a common community. I, for one, would be happy to see this kind of thing more often. There is a strong desire among students for visible, high-level, normative leadership in the ever ongoing process of community building at Wesleyan, particularly in times of community disruption, and this generally fits the bill. A little later than some might prefer, perhaps, but better late than never.

In his letter, Roth touched on the debates around financial aid, of which you may have heard, among other issues, and openly acknowledged the diversity of opinions on those debates and issues and the need to continue the conversation as we move forward. In the vein, Roth notes that he has regular office hours (I recommend scheduling an appointment ahead of time with Lisa LaPlant in South College) and is happy to meet with any group of students, formally or informally, on more or less any subject. If you’ve got something to say, go talk to him.

Roth also commented on issues of racism in recent events and mentioned an important panel/forum in which he will be participating on Monday night. The student organized event will carry forward the campus conversation on race and respect, involving Vice President for Diversity and Institutional Partnerships Sonia Manjon, officers from Public Safety, and students. 7:30PM in Beckham Hall, Monday November 12th.

Our community is not out of the woods. We still suffer from indifference and intolerance. Our community needs support, support from the individuals that make up the whole.

We must all do our part.

The full letter after the jump.

What is Womanism?

Womanist House is sponsoring an informal talk and discussion with our advisor, Dr. Sonia Mañjon, on the basics of Womanist Theory. Food will be served!

Pictured above is professional badass Alice Walker, who coined the term “womanism.”

Co-sponsored by Hewitt.

  • Date: Tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb 23
  • Time: 6:00 pm
  • Place: Nicolson Lounge