SIU interim chancellor announces initiatives to improve racial climate

The chancellor at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale has announced a number of initiatives the school plans to take to improve campus culture after a video threatening violence against black students was posted online. 

Students protested racism on Campus Monday, as well as the state’s budget impasse. The protest was attended by the chancellor and other school administrators. 

In a letter to students, faculty and staff posted to the SIU website on Tuesday, Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell says the university’s goal is to have a welcoming campus with "a respectful, positive environment free from racism and intimidation."

Colwell says: 

Clearly, we have much work to do to build understanding and respect, and it will take the entire community – administrators, students, faculty and staff – to move forward. We have all heard the calls for change, and we must respond in partnership.

The letter goes on to outline a number of things the university plans to do to improve the climate on campus. Among the items listed, Colwell says the school will establish a campus-wide diversity council drawing from all constituencies, including students. He says the school will work with the council to develop a long-term diversity plan.

To see what else Colwell says SIU Carbondale plans to do to improve the climate on campus, read the full letter here

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