Cary Anderson, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Life and Associate Provost on Resources and Action Steps Addressing Bias

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TO: Students, Faculty and Staff

FROM: Cary Anderson, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Life and Associate Provost

RE: Resources and Action Steps Addressing Bias

As indicated in Dr. Reed’s message, I am writing to provide an update regarding resources and action steps underway as we collectively work to address issues of bias and incivility, and endeavor to become more inclusive. All students, faculty and staff deserve to live, work, attend classes and activities in a community that respects individuals and is accepting of the diversity of our backgrounds, values and beliefs.
If any member of the SJU community experiences bias, harassment or other acts of discrimination, the following is a list of resources:
Title IX/Bias Response Coordinator: Dr. Mary Elaine Perry, Campion 243E, 610-660-1145
Bias Incident Reporting (includes links to other resources): https://www.sju.edu/bias
Public Safety & Security: Barbelin Hall 13, 610-660-1111
Center for Inclusion and Diversity: Campion 213
External:
Philadelphia Police Department: 911
Lower Merion Police Department: 215-649-1000
Dr. Perry is the point person for assisting with accessing a variety of on and off campus resources.
I also want to update you on a number of initiatives underway to address issues of bias and promote inclusion and diversity.
  • Perry, in her role as Title IX/Bias Response Coordinator, will convene a group to review our bias response and related communication. This group will share findings toward the beginning of the spring semester. In the meantime, a number of safeguards have been put into place.
  • Dr. Kim Allen-Stuck, in her role supervising the departments in the Center for Inclusion and Diversity, will assemble a working group to enhance the education and training related to understanding and addressing bias. Although this work will be ongoing, a number of programs will be in place for the start of the spring semester. Currently, several programs are listed on the OID website, www.sju.edu/oid, with more to come.
  • The President’s Council on Inclusion and Diversity, chaired by Dr. Janée Burkhalter, in addition to being informed by the recently concluded climate study, will make recommendations to address systemic challenges regarding bias as they work on the Inclusive Excellence Blueprint.
  • The work for inclusion extends to policies and practices that are inclusive of the Trans community. The Trans Inclusion committee, chaired by Dr. Chris Heasley, will continue to work to address issues of housing, all gender bathrooms and preferred name in student records.
  • I also point you to the upcoming #BeCivil campaign by the University Student Senate. The campaign is designed to work with student groups and campus partners to provide awareness and engage students in constructive and respectful dialogue with one another on a variety of issues – politics, equity, and all aspects of life. It emphasizes a common sense of belonging and similarities, while recognizing differences in a respectful manner.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all that the University is doing or must do in order to be true to our mission, which calls us to be “an inclusive and diverse community that educates and cares for the whole person.” I hope all members of the community join in these and other efforts.

Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., President on a Message of Tolerance

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TO: Students, Faculty and Staff

FROM: Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., President

RE: A Message of Tolerance

In my time as President of SJU and in my years in higher education, especially as a former student life professional, I have been on the front lines of addressing incidents involving bias, intimidation and exclusion. It is never easy for anyone involved. It’s complicated. No two situations are ever alike and no single solution can be applied each time. But what has continued to center and guide me through these difficult times is a strong set of Jesuit values that emphasize justice and the care of individuals.
At Saint Joseph’s University, acts of intolerance, hate, harassment and exclusion stand in contrast to our mission, which not only calls for, but insists upon, inclusion, understanding and acceptance. I expect nothing less today or any day.
In the past, I have written to the campus community and shared that few instances bother me more than the harming or exclusion of others. I expect more from our students, faculty and staff. While I may not address our community each time there is the report of an incident, I am always aware, involved, and feel many of the emotions so many of you express: disappointment, confusion, frustration and a desire to make immediate change. Please know that I am confident in and encouraged by the many members of our community working to address these issues, to improve response and communication, to build bridges, brainstorm solutions and defend our values. And to any member of our community who has been harmed, excluded, or experienced the pain of actions by another member of our community, I extend to you both my personal apology as well as an apology on behalf of our entire community.
At Saint Joseph’s, our policies remain as they always have been. Violations of the SJU Community Standards, including harassment, intimidation, discrimination, violence, and vandalism will be investigated in accordance with the procedures laid out in the student, faculty, and employee handbooks.
I wish to reiterate that we are all accountable for upholding our values. They are only as strong as the people who embody them. We have a responsibility to live our mission, to stand up for one another and to step forward when we witness members of our community being treated unfairly or excluded. Challenging times should not be viewed simply as moments for despair and division; they are also opportunities for conversation, self-reflection and productive action.
In my University update message yesterday, I did not include a piece of information that was already planned to be announced more formally in the next week or two. However, let me share in advance that the search for our next chief diversity officer is about to launch. This position will continue to be a member of the University’s senior leadership council, chair the President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion (and, as such, report to me in this capacity), report functionally to the Provost and sit on the Provost’s Council, and work administratively under and with the support of the Vice President for Student Life. This relationship allows the chief diversity officer to work closely with multiple constituencies. We have done a lot of good work over the past few years and look forward to continuing our progress positively as a community.
Lastly, I have asked Dr. Cary Anderson to update us all with additional reminders about resources and action steps underway. This will be sent tomorrow.

Monica Nixon, Ed.D., Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity on Campus Climate Study (Now Open)

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TO: Faculty, Staff and Students

FROM: Monica Nixon, Ed.D., Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity

RE: Campus Climate Study Now Open

Last week Dr. Reed wrote to let you know that the University is undertaking an assessment of the current state of equity and inclusion on campus. That survey, the Assessment of Learning, Living and Working at Saint Joseph’s University, is being conducted by Rankin and Associates Consulting. You can complete the survey online (https://rankinsurveys1.com/sju) or by paper. To receive a paper version of the survey to return by mail, please contact me at mnixon@sju.edu or 610-660-1015. The survey should take 20-30 minutes to complete, and your results will be confidential.
The assessment is designed to provide information about both positive and challenging aspects of our climate. It is your opportunity to describe your personal experiences and observations and to offer suggestions for change that might enhance the campus climate at SJU. Your participation is critically important to help us identify tangible recommendations and key areas for focus.
The climate survey will remain open through Friday, March 9, 2018. To learn more about the climate study, please visit sju.edu/climatestudy.
Thank you for your commitment to Saint Joseph’s University and to our collective work to be an inclusive community in which we all can thrive.

Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., President on Campus Climate Survey

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TO: Faculty, Staff and Students

FROM: Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., President

RE: Campus Climate Survey

As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Saint Joseph’s is guided by a set of values and a mission that emphasize openness, fairness, and equal access for all students, staff, and faculty. How we interact with one another and how we all experience life, learning and work on campus play important roles in our overall campus climate.
As an institution, we are actively committed to learning more about our campus climate through an Assessment of Learning, Living, and Working at Saint Joseph’s University. Representatives from across campus, in partnership with Rankin and Associates have been thoughtfully developing a survey that will open on February 6, 2018. Look for an email invitation from Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity Monica Nixon, Ed.D.
The goals of this assessment project are multifold: 1) identify successful initiatives, 2) uncover any challenges facing members of our community, and 3) develop strategic initiatives to build on the successes and address the challenges.
I encourage you to take the time to help us understand the current climate at SJU by completing the online campus climate survey. It is designed to provide information about both positive and challenging aspects of our climate and is your opportunity to describe your personal experiences, your observations, and to offer suggestions for change that might enhance the campus climate at SJU.
Be assured, all of your answers will remain confidential and the results will be reported in group form only. You will not be identifiable as an individual. Your participation in this project is voluntary. This research has been reviewed and approved by Saint Joseph’s Institutional Review Board. Additional information about the project is available at sju.edu/climatestudy.
Thank you in advance for your contribution to this important project.

Monica Nixon, Ed.D., Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity on  DACA Information and Resources

TO: All Students

FROM: Monica Nixon, Ed.D., Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity

RE: DACA Information and Resources

Last week, in the wake of the federal government’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order, University President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., reaffirmed Saint Joseph’s steadfast commitment to support all students, regardless of their immigration status. This commitment also extends to all SJU employees.

The University has made available resources related to the DACA program, which can be found online at sju.edu/daca. The webpage links to information and guidance available through national organizations and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and will be updated as new information emerges. Of note:

• DACA and work permits (employment authorization documents) will remain valid until their expiration dates.

• No new DACA applications are being accepted or processed, as of September 5, 2017.

• DACA issuances and work permits expiring between now and March 5, 2018, must be submitted for renewal by October 5, 2017. Anyone seeking a renewal should begin the process immediately.

• Advance parole to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad is no longer available, and DHS will refund any associated fees for pending applications for advance parole. Anyone with DACA status who travels abroad for work or study will likely not be able to return to the United States.

• The University does not share private information about students or employees. SJU Public Safety officers do not inquire about or record immigration status in the performance of their duties. The University maintains a strong commitment to maintaining the privacy of student and employee records, consistent with all applicable law.

As Dr. Reed shared, we will continue to be vigilant in looking out for the marginalized within our community and continue to care for one another. Students in need of additional information can contact the Office of Student Life at 610-660-1045 or the Office of Inclusion and Diversity at 610-660-1015. Employees in need of additional information can contact Nancy DuBoise, director of employee and labor relations, at 610-660-3313 or ndboise@sju.edu.

 

A Statement from the President on the DACA Executive Order

TO: University Community
FROM: Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., President
RE: Statement on the DACA Executive Order

Following yesterday’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) issued a statement on behalf of the 28 Jesuit institutions in the United States, which can be found online at www.ajcunet.edu. This recent statement follows others over the past year, which Saint Joseph’s has supported, to send a powerful message of unity and concern for the status of undocumented students.

Our commitment to support all of our students, regardless of their immigration status, remains steadfast and unchanged.  As a Jesuit, Catholic institution, it is our responsibility to defend and advocate for the dignity of all human beings. I am heartened by the level of concern and care we show for one another, and I ask that we continue to be vigilant to the marginalized within our community. Students in need of support are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Life at 610-660-1045 or the Office of Inclusion and Diversity at 610-660-1015. Please do not hesitate to reach out for assistance.

Saint Joseph’s University | 5600 City Avenue | Philadelphia, PA 19131
610-660-1000 | sju.edu

 Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity Monica Nixon on Charlottesville, Saint Joseph’s and Our Work Ahead

TO: All Students

FROM: Monica L. Nixon, Ed.D., Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity

RE: Charlottesville, Saint Joseph’s and Our Work Ahead

Over the last week in Charlottesville and other cities around the world, we have witnessed violent and hateful demonstrations of white supremacy, racism and religious extremism. These forces are not new. The insidious effects of racism, nationalism and other forms of systemic oppression impact each and every one of us. To echo Dr. Reed, Saint Joseph’s values stand in opposition to these forces, and our community is one compelled to action in the face of injustice.

On Wednesday, August 30, Saint Joseph’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity invites all members of our community to come together for prayer, dialogue and contemplation of our collective capacity for positive change. Join the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, Academic Affairs, Campus Ministry, Student Life and others in the Campion Student Center and Wolfington Hall. Further details about this event, and future opportunities for community reflection, will be posted on the Office of Inclusion and Diversity website.

Later this semester, Saint Joseph’s will host a commemoration of the 1967 visit to campus by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A series of events organized around the theme, “Our Destinies are Tied Together,” will kick off with a day-long program on Thursday, October 26, where members of the SJU community will discuss how Dr. King’s remarks still resonate 50 years later.

I hope you will participate in these events and share your perspective as our community works to break down barriers and challenge the viewpoints that divide our nation and world. We cannot afford complacency, nor can we risk any false moral equivalency between those who promote hate and those who oppose it. The work of eradicating oppression must be the responsibility of all of us who aspire to the examples of Jesus Christ and St. Ignatius of Loyola.

President Dr. Mark C. Reed’s Announcement On Campus Climate Survey

 

TO: University Community

FROM: Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., President

RE: Campus Climate Assessment

Saint Joseph’s University, guided by our mission, seeks to create an open, fair and equitable environment  for all students, faculty and staff. To focus our efforts, last fall I convened the President’s Council on Inclusion and Diversity, and tasked its representatives to review campus practices, recommend initiatives and policies to enhance our inclusion efforts, and encourage coordination across divisions. I am grateful for their counsel and their thoughtful work.

I am happy to announce that, upon the recommendation of the President’s Council, during the upcoming academic year, SJU will undertake a vital and relevant assessment of the campus climate for learning and working. This is our chance to learn more about our campus community and make positive, sustainable changes where they are needed. To ensure full transparency and to provide a more complete perspective, we have contracted with Rankin & Associates Consulting to help lead this effort. Rankin & Associates have conducted over 190 campus climate assessment projects over the last 20 years.

A team from Rankin & Associates has begun working with a committee of students, faculty and staff representing a variety of areas to develop and implement the assessment. The results will better enable us to develop programs and policies that will address problematic areas and enhance and replicate approaches which are shown to be successfully meeting the needs of our community.

A climate project web site is in development and will provide communication on the project process and results. Once available, we will share the address, as well as any additional information about the project.

I hope that you will join me in supporting this important initiative.

 

Saint Joseph’s University | 5600 City Avenue | Philadelphia, PA 19131
610-660-1000 | sju.edu

Affirming Our Mission: A Statement from the President

Given the sudden nature of the recent actions by the federal government concerning immigration policy for selected countries, it was critical that the University reach affected community members to offer support as well as remind students, faculty and staff about related privacy policies and procedures. I am pleased with the speed and diligence of our response.

Today, I write to affirm our institutional mission and values grounded in our Jesuit and Catholic identity. In recent months and perhaps to come, events in our nation have given us cause to do so. Yet, at no time has there been a need to change or amend who we are and what we stand for.

Our core values are strong. Saint Joseph’s University has, and always will, stand for the dignity of all human beings. Therefore, actions or language that deny or demean the dignity of any human being are in direct conflict with our mission and do not represent our values.

Further, our mission statement in regard to inclusion and diversity is unequivocal and our commitment to it is as unwavering as ever:

Striving to be an inclusive and diverse community that cares for the whole person…

It is our intention to continue, now and always, to educate, support, promote and celebrate all of our students, faculty and staff, regardless of their nationality, citizenship, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

It is increasingly important that we, as a Jesuit community, with the utmost confidence in our mission and identity, act as engaged citizens and compassionate advocates for marginalized members of our own communities and beyond. Going forward, let us live this mission and let our actions be our statement.

International Student / Faculty Resources

TO: University Community

FROM: Cary Anderson, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Life and Associate Provost

RE: International Student / Faculty Resources

Last week the White House issued an executive order on immigration indefinitely barring Syrian refugees from entering the U.S., suspending all refugee admissions for 120 days. The order also blocks citizens of seven countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – from entering the U.S. for 90 days. The impact of this order and its enforcement are unfolding, and the University is actively monitoring the situation.

In addition, we have reached out to all student members of the SJU community most immediately affected by the order and will continue to offer them our full support and personalized assistance. We would like to extend the same services and support to faculty and others on campus who may have questions or concerns.

If you believe the executive order affects your study, scholarship or Visa status, you may contact the Office of International Student Services at 610-660-3496 (internationalstudents@sju.edu) for assistance. In addition, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (OID) is another important campus resource. Confidential inquiries can be submitted online via the following link: https://sites.sju.edu/oid/about/contact-us/.

We are proud that Saint Joseph’s is home to students, staff and scholars from around the world. Their presence enriches our University in countless ways, and we are committed to providing a safe environment that protects the privacy and human dignity of all members of our community.