To our peers and colleagues in the UNC community:
We want to thank the many individuals who have reached out to us to share their affirmations of our university’s values of inclusion and respect over the course of the last day. We have so much to be proud of as a university community and your messages of support for our fellow Bears are a source of great encouragement to us and others.
As an institution of higher learning, we are responsible and must strive to create an environment where a wide variety of points of view can be voiced, discussed, and debated. In doing so, we will sometimes disagree; we may even encounter views that challenge and offend our core beliefs and ideals. Creating such an environment is not just a manifestation of our values as a university community but are principles that undergird the democratic tradition and process in our nation. As leaders of this university, we know and are proud of the supportive and inclusive environment we strive so hard to foster for our students regardless of their race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, political views, gender expression and identity, religion, or belief systems.
This is sometimes messy and uncomfortable work. As we made clear in this morning’s message, the work we all must put in as members of this community has two essential parts. We must show care for one another, and we must also hold each other accountable for our actions. When our values and our policies are challenged, there is a process for receiving and reviewing grievances, as well as for taking appropriate action within the boundaries of university regulations or policy and the law to hold members of our community responsible. We trust that process and ask that you do, too.
Incivility, bias, and discrimination are incongruent with our values as an institution of higher learning and contribute to a hostile environment that is the antithesis of the community we aspire to be at UNC. We hope that when we disagree—and we will, we can do so from a foundation of kindness.
Teresa A. Castro
Student Body President
Chief Diversity Officer & Associate Vice President for Student Affairs