Follow up to being called the n* word on campus three weeks ago

“You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a n*. I tell you this because I love you, and please don’t you ever forget it.”

Baldwin, James (2013-09-17). The Fire Next Time (Vintage International) (Kindle Locations 38-39). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

These are all the things that I have done to this point.   Today I have a meeting.

This all could have been resolved with a simple conversation with the team the day after while an investigation went on.  Maybe educational programming later, but starting out with a conversation would have been the best approach.

Past is past, though.

Time for working towards the future.

Also, I shouldn’t have felt the need to do anything other than report.  I wanted to know what was happening.  What I learned is that after the Public Safety investigation, behind close doors there has been ongoing talk with the team, that has not led to action.

Maybe I’ll learn something different in the meeting.

UPDATE:
What I learned (among many things) was that the team coach was not informed as to what was going on until this past Monday and that, while I trusted the process, I should have just contacted him immediately and let the investigation go on separately.  Of course, I think, the university has much work to do if the mistake is trusting the process.

What we as a group determined (Dean of Students, Chief Diversity Officer, my dean, director of the Women’s Resource Center, Athletics Director, and Team Coach) were three courses of action:
1.  A continued Community Life investigation process and possibly consequences for some players, if they admit responsibility.
2. The implementation of a Story Circle process that will allow for the team and I to share stories of what happened and then to develop solutions together.  This will lead to a follow up meeting with the Bias Incident Report Team to determine next steps, if they are necessary.
3.  Development of a team under the Campus Committee on Inclusive Excellence to develop educational programming for implementation with all student athletes on campus.  Most likely to be implemented in Academic Year 2017-2018.

I am happy that we finally came to the table and that I know about definitive next steps.  I suppose I am lucky in that respect.  I’m sure many other faculty members (and staff and students) have been called the n* word and not received any university responses whatsoever.

I’m curious as to how widespread this phenomenon is and how universities are dealing with hate speech.
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–>

Reporter
University representatives
3/2
Incident occurs at approximately 5pm
I write an essay about that experience and read it at Hazel Reading Series at around 8:30pm
Requested to submit my essay to COG
3/2
Submit a bias incident report
3/2
Email CDO, provost, dean, and president  the key details from that report
3/2
Post on Facebook
3/3 -3/6
Send my essay to approximately 25 faculty and staff members with whom I have worked on the Academic Administrators Task Force, Diversity Task Force, Academic Senate College Evaluation Task Force, Black Lives Matter course (Jan Term 2017)
Respond to all of the faculty and staff members.
3/3 receive personal responses from all those to whom I sent the essay with the exception of the president
3/3 receive response from the Dean of Students
v  BIRT will review report and assess climate issues. 
v  They may contact me.
v  They will likely follow up with Director of Athletics.
v  Want to make sure that I feel safe and offer meeting with BIRT member.
3/3 Dean of Students refers this to PS for further investigation and for my safety and parking concerns.
3/3
Followed up with email to PS Chief
3/3
PS Chief corresponds that they have the time frame close and can pull video.  I am given the option of being picked up by PS from whatever parking area and taken to work.  I decline this. 
3/6 Class visit to JCL 10
3/6 receive email from PS Chief that he will have photos to show me. 
3/7 PS Chief reaches out to arrange a time for photo line up. 
3/7 correspondence to set up photo line up meeting, though I see it as a box to check since this happened from behind
Several emails to set up that appointment continue.
3/8 PS Chief reaches out to share officer name and time of photo lineup. 
4:40pm Officer comes to my office.  I identify one person who was there (behind my car), though not definitively.  [it seems that the PS investigation concludes here]
3/13 Submit to COG and The Chronicle of Higher Education
3/13
I reach out to Athletics Director with what happened and my essay. 
3/13
Response from Athletics Director
Have a cup of coffee to learn more and partner to make the college a better place
3/13 Follow up with Athletic Director with times available and say that I will continue telling the story  (use the essay to prompt the conversation)
3/13
AD:  Asks his assistant to contact me.  This does not happen until 3/22 after being reminded by me.
3/15 Reach out to Dean of Students
What other actions have been taken, other than photo lineup? 
Offered to be picked up, but this was declined. 
3/15 I respond with what this educational component might be and that I would like to be a part of it. 
3/15 CDO says that the investigation is ongoing and that there will be an educational component for the  team.
3/15 Dean of Students We will keep my desire to be a part in mind when they consider the component for the team.
3/16 Reach out to Dean of Students and CDO to learn what more has been done. 
3/16 I do a class visit, reading from the essay and singing (music class). 
3/16 CDO makes suggestion of parking spot (after I say that being picked up by Public Safety is not a solution and that I will not park in that area again if that is the only option.
Dean of Students says PS Chief will have to approve. 
PS Chief approves and issues a carpool parking pass. 
3/16 Receive contact from Chronicle of Higher Education to reduce word count.  This is done and submitted.
3/17 CDO Thanks me for generosity and being open.  Once educational program is determined, I may be contacted with specifics
3/20 Receive contact from Chronicle of Higher Education that the piece has been accepted for publication
3/22
Reach out to Athletics Director to note that I was told I would be contacted to set up a meeting.  No email was sent
3/22
AD Apologizes for not setting up meeting
Administrative Assistant sets up meeting and apologizes.
AD invites Coach
3/22
I respond that I’m happy to meet and build from the understandings that
v  it happened,
v  that they were  players,
v  and that something should be done. 
v  that I would like a restorative justice model
3/23
I tell the story in Teacher Ed meeting with support from colleagues. Given the idea to request dean to be there.
Meet with Dean who asks for the follow up. 
Dean of Students, CDO, Athletics Director,  Coach, and Women’s Resource Director ultimately confirm they will attend meeting. 
3/23 WRC Director reaches out after attending the Professor Anita Hill program
v  They are looking into educational responses.
v  Interest in co-creating programming.
3/23 Respond to WRC Director
v  I never needed or requested an apology
v  That this ongoing pain could have been alleviated through clear conversation about process, next steps, who would be responsible for what and by what time, and what would happen with athletics.  
v  Educational programming could have been outlined for establishment of community culture of accountability and respect, how this behavior won’t be tolerated, standing for something different than hate, how racial epithets have power and will not be tolerated
3/23 Provost reaches out
v  After receiving routine updates on steps taken on racial epithets
v  PS Chief had contacted me.
v   
3/23 Respond to Provost
Would love to hear more about steps that have been taken
Questions
“What sensitivity workshops do student athletes take, let alone students across the college?  In this time of validated “locker room language” around gender, how are student athletes guided to cultivate cultural humility and knowledge?  At this point, that’s what I want to see in addition to in-depth educational programming on microaggressions, respect for human dignity, and intervening when that respect is violated. One voice said the word, but several heard it and did nothing. For me, this is not an individual issue; this is a team issue.”  
3/24 At this point, I have used the carpool parking pass once, because I could not find available parking.  I did not go into that parking lot to even look. 
3/24 Meeting with me, Dean of students, Athletic Director, Coach, KSOE Dean, and Director of Women’s Resource Center leads to determination following 3-pronged approach
Community Life Process
3/24 2:30 pm meeting between players who were possibly party to the incident, PS Officer
This will be written and filed by Officer who will talk with PS Chief
If an individual student or group of students admit culpability, this will be referred to Student Life/Discipline to hold student(s) accountable. 
This information may not be shared with reporter due to FERPA.
Direct/Short-Term Educational Program:
Story Circle will occur, ideally with target players, but if not with the whole team and me, members of BIRT, the Coach, Athletic Director.  This may be facilitated by two staff members on Monday 3/27 at 5pm. 
Place has not been determined, but I request that it be outside of the Athletics space. 
After this story circle, we will confer to determine if additional steps are needed on this track. 
Indirect/ Long Term Educational Programming: 
An educational program (to be determined by the BIRT Team C and the College Committee on Inclusive Excellence) that explicitly explores concepts of race, gender, intersectionality, power and privilege, hate speech, interventions in microaggressions, and alignment with College Mission will be identified/developed and implemented.  This may be one session within a larger educational program or sustained and developmentally appropriate workshops implemented over the span of participation in Athletics, as determined between BIRT, CCIE, and Athletics.  This educational programming will affect all athletes, not just one team. 
Intention is to pilot implementation in Academic Year 2017-2018. 
I have asked to be informed when this has been developed and put into action. 
Remaining questions:
1.     While the word used was decidedly a racial epithet, gender can not be separated from the incident.  How has the intersectionality of the incident been considered in making decisions?
2.     What, if any, conversation has been held with the  team or with the one member that I identified (who could have identified others or described the incident more fully)?
3.     What educational programming has been determined for use with the  team? 
4.     What sensitivity workshops do student athletes take?  How do they learn about microaggressions, respect for human dignity, and intervening with respect is violated? 
5.     What sensitivity workshops do students across the college take? 
6.     What is the community culture of athletics?  How is disrespect around race, gender, and other aspects of identity addressed? 
7.     What are the responsibilities of the coach in addressing problematic student behavior? 
8.     When is the student conduct code reviewed with students?  How is this taken from dictums to examples in practice? 
9.     Is there a workflow/digital system that could be updated with steps taken in a process?
a.      Example: 
                                               i.     After BIRT report is online filed, then at each BIRT conference, those responsible for following up do so, and then log this intp a system, which can be accessed by the person who reported.  
10.  How can an ideal timeline best be communicated to those who report, including investigation, division of tasks, restorative justice model (if selected by the reporter), and implementation of solutions/consequences/programming?

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Is it possible for the reporter to be invited to BIRT conversations, if requested?  

Suggestions for BIRT Process
v  Implementation/Use of a digital interface that allows the reporter to
o   submit a report;
o   receive a copy of that report via email (at present, this function does not exist);
o   receive an automatic copy of BIRT policy and procedures;
o   receive automated alerts when actions have been taken such as
§  report received
§  case assigned to [party or parties]
§  case under review or discussion by BIRT
§  investigation in-progress
§  determination (bias/no bias)
§  case has been closed (with actions reported, if possible)
o   know to whom each step of the process has been assigned.
Such an implementation would alleviate the stress on the reporter who does not know that a case is under consideration and what has been done. 

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v  Also, quick informing of all the parties with direct supervision.  In this case, the Coach of the team was informed nearly 3 weeks after the incident occurred and has communicated that he would have engaged in an independent investigation immediately and addressed the issue with his players as well.  My understanding of the policy is that there is a two-week timeline from incident to resolution with the possibility of extension (though who determines this and for what reason and to whom this is communicated is not clear from the policy).  If this is correct, then the policy and procedures were not met.  In the meeting, we determined that there were breakdowns in and lack of communication and a revelation that team leads should not be charged with multiple roles in the process. 

#twt

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