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Davis

Davis, California

Sunday, October 17, 2021

New initiative aims to battle hate

With the recent hate crimes that have occurred on the UC Davis campus, the Campus Council on Community and Diversity (CCC&D) is executing a plan to create a welcoming and inclusive campus environment.

The first part of the Campus Action Plan is to address reoccurring incidents of hate and bias. The second part introduces the Hate-Free Campus Initiative, which seeks ways to proactively engage the campus community to confront and stop acts of hate.

“The best way to confront issues of hate and bias in our community is for everyone to assume some level of responsibility,” said Associate Executive Vice Chancellor Rahim Reed.

The Campus Action Plan includes a Rapid Response Team that will serve as the campus’ initial response to future incidences of hate and bias. The team will provide an immediate determination of whether or not an event is a hate crime. If the incident is hate related it will be referred to the police. Additionally, it will handle security and safety issues along with coordinating internal and external communications for those affected.

Members of the team will include representatives from Student Affairs, Administrative Resources and Management, Campus Community Relations, UC Davis Health System, UC Davis Police Department, University Communications, Campus Counsel, Human Resources and the student community.

For reporting incidents of hate and bias, contact the team’s co-chairs, Reed and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Griselda Castro. Castro expressed her anticipation for what the Rapid Response Team will do for the campus community.

“It is my hope that a Rapid Response Team can come together quickly to provide support where needed and help the campus work through the many difficult issues that surface with each incident with both sensitivity and conviction,” Castro said.

Castro and Reed met with members of the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the Arab and Muslim student community and the Muslim Student Association after the vandalism on the Third World Mural. They encouraged everyone at the meeting to work with other groups on campus to raise awareness about the issue, in addition to participating in the anti-hate week in March to show solidarity with other groups on campus.

Ahmed Desouki, a member of SJP, expressed his gratitude for the meeting with Castro and Reed.

“We walked out feeling great,” Desouki said. “We were happy to know that the UC Davis campus really cares about these types of issues and that an attack on us had not gone unnoticed.”

To proactively engage the campus community in combating incidents of hate and bias, the Campus Action Plan includes an outline for the Hate-Free Campus Initiative. The outline consists of activities and educational programs that seek to build a more inclusive campus community.

The office of Campus Community and Relations is funding the Hate-Free Campus Initiative. They are seeking partners, other campus groups and organizations to collaborate and enable additional events to foster greater awareness and appreciation for diversity.

The outline of the Hate-Free Campus Initiative and the Campus Action Plan is available at occr.ucdavis.edu/hatefree. Information about how students can get involved and the steps for putting together a proposal for adding activities to the Hate-Free Campus Initiative will soon be available on the site.

MICHELLE MURPHY can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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