Working to improve campus climate

To: UCSC Community

From: Associate Chancellor Ashish Sahni

One of the important things we learned about our campus from the recent systemwide campus climate survey is that UC Santa Cruz has work to do to create a fully welcoming and supportive experience for all students.

The campus climate survey and our hate/bias reports over the last 18 months reveal that members of our community of African American/Black/Caribbean (ABC) students have been the targets of hate/bias incidents and harassment. During a recent town hall meeting with Chancellor George Blumenthal and Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Alison Galloway, ABC students described their experiences of racism and race-based microaggressions; their accounts were disturbing to hear but important to acknowledge.

Last week, campus leaders reached out to town hall participants and the African American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC) with a list of actions they are considering, including but not limited to additional training of faculty, staff, and incoming students, and enhancing efforts to recruit ABC students. All such actions are designed to move the campus forward in improving the campus climate for ABC students. We look forward to receiving widespread input as we prioritize actions and plan a campuswide strategy.

This dialogue builds on work begun last summer by the Black Experience Team (BET), a special working group charged with advising campus leaders and developing recommendations on a broad range of issues impacting ABC students, including graduation and retention rates, academic support services, and the hate/bias incident reporting process.

I appreciate the efforts of dedicated student, staff, and faculty members who are partnering with us in this work, including representatives from Admissions; the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; the African American Resource and Cultural Center; Residential Life; and many others on campus.

This campus is deeply committed to improving the climate for all students at UC Santa Cruz, and I am confident that the work taking place to address the specific, immediate needs of ABC students will benefit the entire student population. Our Principles of Community provide a roadmap, shining a light on our destination. Please join us, so that we may embark on this journey together.