Luther College Chips

Diversity council calls for systemic change

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In recent weeks the Diversity Council has felt inspired by the student response to the incidents of hate speech (our words) over this past semester. In particular, we would like to acknowledge those organizations and leaders that have come together to demand change from their school. We are also heartened that the administration has made a clear priority of hearing out and responding to the students’ demands this last week.

With this letter, we voice support for the short-term demands sought by these student leaders. And seeing that steps are being taken by the administration already, it seems appropriate to broaden the scope of this letter.

First, we continue to affirm the short-term changes demanded by students of the Luther College Cabinet. Actions planned to respond to these demands are encouraging and we urge those actions to fulfillment.

We further affirm that these short-term changes represent a vital beginning and are not, in themselves, ends. Long-term plans, plans already begun, will require sustained energy and effort on the part of our entire campus community.

We therefore encourage the entire Luther community to lend our energies to systemic change if we hope to create a community in which all are welcome, included, and treated with their due measure of dignity.

Okogyeamon reminded us at his May 5 visit that in order to see enduring change on this campus we must do more than implement one strategy or another in response to any given event. We cannot simply react.

Rather, we must make an effort to change the culture on this campus so that these strategies are implemented before they are necessary. Because these strategies are a function of a campus community that respects all people and knows the value of living that respect in our actions to one another and the broader world. Thank you.

Signed,

Interim Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion Lisa Scott

Associate Professor of Political Science Carly Hayden Foster

Assistant Professor of English Marie Drews (‘02)

Director of Diversity Center Wintlett Taylor-Browne

International Student Coordinator, Diversity Center Amy Webber

Director of Human Resources Marsha Wenthold

Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education Jeffrey Wettach (‘79)

Head Men’s Soccer Coach and Staff Instructor for HPE Christopher Garcia-Pratts

Rebecka Green (‘19)

Assistant Professor of Theatre Robert Vrtis

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