Response to "Masks"

Courtney Murphy | Editor-in-Chief

Yesterday, the Whitworthian published an online opinions article where the author discussed a personal experience with discrimination on campus.

This morning, the office of diversity, equity & inclusion issued a statement via Whitworth Advisory email called "Whitworth Committed to Safe Learning Environment" responding to the article and stating their commitment to "creating and sustaining a learning community that provides a safe and constructive environment for all students."

Contact Courtney Murphy at cmurphy18@my.whitworth.edu.

Read the statement in full below.


Dear Whitworth Community,

In a recent online article published in The Whitworthian, an anonymous Whitworth student details an alleged experience with racial discrimination in the classroom. The university became aware of this situation in the middle of Jan Term, and it began a timely and formal investigation pursuant to its antidiscrimination and harassment policies. As part of the initial inquiry into these allegations, and before any formal investigation was initiated, the student, the professor, and other individuals familiar with the allegation were interviewed multiple times. In addition to myself, the university provost, associate provost and members of the office of student diversity, equity & inclusion were deeply invested in discovering the truth. After those initial conversations, the student declined to file a formal complaint and has refused to participate in a formal investigation. Despite the student’s refusal to participate, the university has continued its formal inquiry, and no determination of racial discrimination has been made to date.

The university takes any such allegation seriously, which is why a formal and thorough investigation was launched even after the student decided against filing a formal complaint. The university has been, and continues to be, very invested in this matter. Whitworth’s faculty, staff and administration agree that there is no tolerance for the mistreatment of students, either inside or outside of the classroom, based on race, gender, nationality, ableness, sexual orientation, or any other dimension of human difference. Additionally, the university remains committed to creating and sustaining a learning community that provides a safe and constructive environment for all students. Any behavior that devalues another human being is not consistent with the university’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, a commitment grounded in the university’s Christ-centered mission.

Sincerely,
Lorna Hernandez Jarvis, Ph.D.
Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Whitworth Universit