Dear Community,

Culminating most horrifically in the murders of six Asian American women in Georgia this past week, hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have increased dramatically over the last year. While underreported by the media, these abhorrent acts have caused mounting fear among our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities and outrage among all of us committed to anti-racism. 

We acknowledge the terrible pain this manifest bias and violence has caused our community here on Palatine Hill and across the globe. Individually and together, we are called to bear witness against the violence of racism, to act for justice, and to affirm our shared humanity. We stand steadfastly with our Asian and Asian American community members and are committed to ensuring that each of us is safe, supported, and able to focus on learning and work. 

Like so many forms of bigotry, exclusion, and racism, anti-Asian sentiment has deep and longstanding roots in our country and state. Asians and Asian Americans have been viewed as foreign threats at many key points throughout American history: the Chinese Exclusion Act, the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, post-9/11 surveillance and violence against Muslim and South Asian communities, and recent ICE raids, to name a few. 

Unfortunately our recent history has included hateful racial slurs from the highest levels of the United States government, which has contributed to the surge in anti-Asian violence across the country. Nationally, Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that tracks and reports bias crimes against Asian Americans, has tallied 3,800 incidents since March 19 last year. It is encouraging that the current Biden administration has taken a stand against this alarming trend.

Here on campus, each of us can offer comfort and support to members of our community who are feeling targeted and vulnerable. As always, if you or someone you know has experienced violence, please contact Campus Safety, available 24 hours a day at 503-768-7777. You may also use the Bias Assessment and Response Team (BART) form to report concerns.

Counseling services are available to all students. Over the weekend, students may contact counseling at 503-265-7804. On weekdays during business hours, students may contact the Counseling Service at 503-768-7160. Students living on campus can also seek support through their Resident Advisors and Area Directors.

Faculty and staff who wish to speak with a counselor are encouraged to contact the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-433-2320.

We long for the day when we no longer have to send messages such as this. But that day is not today, and it is our collective and institutional responsibility to reckon with our past in order to transcend it. To Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders in our community: We stand together with you today and every day.

Executive Council

Joe Becker, Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications
Andrea Dooley, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Operations
Mark Figueroa, Dean of Equity & Inclusion and Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research and Planning
Scott Fletcher, Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Counseling
Robin Holmes-Sullivan, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Jennifer Johnson, Dean of the Law School
David Reese, Vice President, Chief of Staff, Board Secretary, and General Counsel
Eric Staab, Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid
Bruce Suttmeier, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
Josh Walter, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Wim Wiewel, President 

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