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Respectful Behavior Statement and Bears in Solidarity

April 22, 2021

Rowing, Not Drifting 2030 guides our direction and aspirations for the next decade of serving students and our community. Our vision takes shape in the form of five elements that serve as our foundation over the next 10 years in support of and service to our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community. These five elements include: (1) Students First, (2) Empower Inclusivity, (3) Enhance & Invest, (4) Innovate & Create, and (5) Connect & Celebrate. UNC is dedicated to strengthening and advancing our collective work related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

As part of the university strategic plan, the Empower Inclusivity committee has worked on several initiatives this year in respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion. One of those initiatives is to create a draft statement on Respectful Behavior. This statement is intended to lay the foundation that will support a climate and culture of trust, support, respect, inclusivity and consideration for others. The respectful behavior statement will apply to everyone on campus, including all students, faculty and administrators. When a respectful behavior statement exists and is adhered to on campus—all students, faculty and administrators will take comfort in realizing that UNC is seriously interested in the welfare of all who work at and attend the university. 

A draft statement has been created and we welcome your reaction and edits at https://unco.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4NGFs0mFFK9FeLA. The online survey will remain open until noon on Wednesday, April 28. Additionally, feedback may be provided via the final public session on Zoom scheduled for Monday, April 26, 3-4pm – Register for the open forum here. The Respectful Behavior committee will take all feedback collected from both the survey and the open forum sessions and plans to have a revised Respectful Behavior Statement shared out to the campus community within the next few weeks.

Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion extends appreciation and thanks to those individuals who worked to schedule the Bears in Solidarity community gathering on Tuesday evening to allow folks to work through together the recent verdict of the high profile murder of George Floyd. The time to be in community with each other and debrief was appreciated by those in attendance. UNC plans to offer on a consistent basis more of these gatherings following newsworthy events that occur both locally and globally. These types of situations affect us all and can often be physically and emotionally draining. It’s essential that we give ourselves space and time to work through the distress that often times follows these types of situational experiences. People benefit from having a safe space and the opportunity to speak out, process what has occurred, validate and share emotions folks are experiencing, and share strategies to help individuals manage stress and anxiety caused by the situation. As always, the UNC Counseling Center is an available resource for students, faculty, and staff. As stated in President Feinstein’s message to the community, “We have to continue to strive to build an equitable and inclusive community that not only creates space to grieve when violence occurs, but challenges us to act to support every one of our fellow Bears and our neighbors.” Only by working together as a community will we be able to achieve the change we desire in the UNC strategic plan.

To learn more about the Cultural and Resource Centers and the resources and services they provide to students, visit the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion website.