Letter to the Editor: Diversity should be respected and encouraged on campus

Dear Whitworth Community,We want to express our support and appreciation of campus leaders’ response to the recent incident involving Whitworth students posing in blackface. This incident reminds us that we need more education on creating inclusive communities, especially in a place like Whitworth that holds strong Christian tenets based on the love and grace of Christ.

Our campus community should be one of constructive dialogue, where differences in opinion do not have to be accepted, but are at the very least acknowledged and respected. Additionally, we are calling the campus community and administration to further action.

We want our university to commit to hiring a diverse staff and faculty, representative of a diverse student population. We want the student body to learn how to be allies and supportive of others whose identities differ from their own. We want the campus community to learn how to identify and intervene in instances of microaggressions and bullying behavior. We want every student, staff and faculty member to have access to an anonymous online reporting form to document hate or bias-related incidents–in order for all non-majority members of our community to feel the campus is a safer space for non-traditional backgrounds. And we want the administration to be prepared to take swift and fair action against discrimination, including incidents that take place outside of the public eye.

The Whitworth community is capable of showing love and compassion in meaningful ways, and we hope this situation can be turned into an opportunity to educate all students and better the experience of all underrepresented students.

Signed by: Joy Bacon, ‘09, Amanda Blunt, ‘12, Janae Brewster, ‘08, Ozzie Crocco, ‘08, Caroline Davis, ‘08, Bryan Dormaier, ‘06, Keilah Fanene ‘11, Delynn Hampton, ‘08, William Hardy, ‘09, Allyn Krzymowski, ‘08, Luis Enrique Lopez, ‘09, Elizabeth Moreno, ‘10, Brittany Roach, ’12, Joe Tobiason, ‘07, Jade Faletoi, ‘15