University Housing would like to improve its response to and proactive advocacy of the voices of our Black students who have expressed their pain, frustrations and experiences as a student on this campus through the #BlackAtUARK hashtag.

As a workplace and the home to thousands of residential students, Housing strives to provide a welcoming environment that is inclusive for all students.

I want to share steps our department will be taking.

We will ensure continued training of all staff and student leaders on how to respond in the moment and to report expressions of racism and discrimination and racially motivated incidents.

We will include talking points for our August floor meetings with information on bystander intervention education and information about reporting acts of discrimination.

We will create “Community Pulse Lunch” where coordinators for residence education (CREs) send invitations to students to have real conversations about their experience in the communities on a regular basis.

We will openly and actively engage all residents living in the facility when reports of hate speech are made by contacting all residents to address and condemn racist actions and expressions when they occur, while following all guidelines of privacy and due process.

Conversations will continue about other steps that can be taken to improve the living environment on campus.

University Housing recognizes there is always room to grow.

To truly become an anti-racist campus, we must be able to uplift and empower our Black students to voice their concerns as well as providing an avenue for these continued dialogues to occur.

These steps are just the start.

– Flo Johnson, Assistant Vice-Chancellor for University Housing