Thursday, October 20, 2016

Student Group Seeks To Ban Boone On DU Campus

(above) Chancellor Chopp & Boone in happier times

A student group most likely organized by the Black Student Alliance at the University of Denver have posted a series of demands online [See document below].  These demands appear to undermine all Academic freedom of expression by students, alumni & staff at the University of Denver.

The "unofficial" Denver Boone mascot, the Greek System, current and future DU employees and student groups who don't subscribe to the "multicultural agenda" appear to be targeted.

DU's Faculty of Color, a multicultural Alumni group and the Black Student Alliance are seeking to ban and prohibit Boone's entry into sporting events & on campus. A fictional cartoon character that was created by the Walt Disney Company in the late Sixties is being labelled "racist" in a well orchestrated campaign.

You can't make this up.

List of Demands for
 The University of Denver Administration
We Demand…
  1. An institutional commitment to cultural heritage programming.
  1. Extend ONEDU initiatives to support and provide an institutional budget for heritage/history month programs and events by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year.
  2. With preference for the following months:
  1. February - Black History Month
  2. March - Women's History Month
  3. May - Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
  4. June - LGBT Pride Month
  5. September – Latinx Heritage Month
  6. October - LGBT History Month
  7. November - Native American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month
  1. Strictly prohibit organizations with foundations, principles, or affiliations that do not align with the university's current values from existing and becoming a recognized organization on DU’s campus.
  1. Remove existing campus affiliated organizations with foundations and/or principles that do not align with the University of Denver’s current values and commitment to inclusive excellence by Fall 2017.
  1. Mandate Inclusive Excellence workshops, similar to the B.O.S.S. training program.
  1. Require all Greek and Non-Greek student organizations on campus to participate in the Inclusive Excellence workshop(s) by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year.
  1. Hire an external entity to assess and report on current campus climate and inclusion practices and a project manager to oversee the implementation of suggestions.
  1. Hire external entity and announce assessment plans by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year.
  2. Encourage this external entity to remain transparent and consult with students and staff during assessment process.
  3. Offer feedback presentation to all faculty, staff, and students at DU to discuss findings.
  1. Create a review committee of diverse constituents, including students, faculty, and staff, to review and improve the university honor code.
  1. Revise the honor code to be more explicit and intentional in regards to student and institutional accountability practices in regard to hate speech, implicit bias incidents, etc. by Spring 2017. 
  1. Require students to demonstrate commitment to/understanding of Inclusive Excellence during the admissions process to gauge levels of understanding and use that data to inform inclusive excellence initiatives on campus.
  1. Require students applying to the university to write an essay articulating their understanding of Inclusive Excellence. This is a productive filtering method to ensure that DU only admits students who believe in/understand the values DU wants to uphold.
  1. Implement as an optional essay during the regular decision application period for the 2017-2018 academic year.
  2. Implement as a mandatory essay on all future applications, starting with the 2017 early action application for the 2018 – 2019 incoming class.
  1. Recruit more full-time psychologists with demonstrated experience in multicultural competence, services and outreach.
  1. There is only one postdoctoral fellow (Dr. Erin Unkefer), with a one-year commitment, focused on this area. A full-time psychologist will have more robust historical context of being an underrepresented student at DU, as s/he will be here for several years. Additionally, given the stigma often surrounding mental health services, a full time psychologist can create strong bonds with students over a long period of time. We expect at least one full-time psychologist to be hired or for Dr. Unkefer to be offered a full-time position by Fall 2018.
  2. Increase medical and mental health service providers of color and who identify as LGBTIQ. An increase of providers in this field is expected by Fall 2018.
  1. Hire new faculty and support existing faculty willing to implement and facilitate Race, Inequality & Social Change (RISC) curriculum.  
  1. Create a structure in which RISC curriculum is mandated as a degree requirement by the end of the 2018-2019 academic year.
  2. Hire more faculty capable of teaching RISC courses. An increase in faculty is expected by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year.
  1. Establish Ethnic Studies department.
  1. Courses in Ethnic Studies address that traditionally, the role of Asian Americans, Blacks, Mexicans, Latinos and Native Americans in American history are undervalued and ignored because of Eurocentric bias and hegemonic racial and ethnic prejudice. Ethnic Studies courses also often encompass issues of intersectionality, where gender, class, and sexuality also come into play. Taking into account the racial climate of DU, curriculum like this, be it optional or mandatory is necessary. We would like to see this implemented by the end of the 2018-2019 academic year.
  1. Create and implement mandatory online modules on race, similar to Alcohol Edu, to be completed before arriving on campus in order to prepare students to engage in discussions around race relations, inclusivity, and social inequality.
  1. Incorporate discussions around race relations, inclusivity, and social inequality into Discoveries Orientation week to be implemented by the 2017-2018 academic year.
  2. Create mandatory course similar to FSEM revolving around Inclusive Excellence and the resources offered through Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence to be piloted by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year.
  1. Increased transparency from the University of Denver and its administration when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
  1. Transparency about current state of diversity and climate (Inclusive Excellence) on campus including:
  1. Marketing to prospective students about current student demographics
  2. University wide communications about set goals and efforts in progress in pursuit of said goals
  1. Establish realistic/tangible short-term and long IE goals
  2. Do not "put up a mask" when talking about Inclusive Excellence. Instead, more frequently, acknowledge the issues that DU is facing with Inclusive Excellence, and acknowledge what DU is doing to combat these issues.
  3. Put up a poster on the Driscoll Bridge that contains information on crucial initiatives started by the University as well as its progress. This is expected to be updated quarterly.
  4. Increased staff, faculty, and administration participation in student-led events pertaining to campus climate.
  5. We expect to see progress on these initiatives by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year.
  1. Hire more staff to lead and/or assist with diversity and inclusion initiatives.
  1. This includes:
  1. One new full-time professional hired to work in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to support the work that they do.
  2. One new full-time professional hired, preferably a Director, to work specifically on efforts related to domestic and local college access.
  1. We would like to see a consolidation of university college access efforts into one centralized office or initiative (I.e. programs offered by VIP and CCESL, Urban Debate, Black Women Lead and Black Male Initiative Summit, Bridge Project, Pio Prep, and Pio visits, etc.)
  2. In addition, we would like to see DU make an institutionalized commitment to college access in an effort to help change the perception of DU within the local communities of color in Denver.
  1. One new Assistant Director hired specifically for LGBTIQA initiatives and support.
  1. LGBTIQA support is currently one of many responsibilities of the professional staff at CME, we believe LGBTIQA support should be prioritized and developed into its own area within the division of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence.
  1. We expect to see progress on these hiring requests by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year.
  1. The implementation of more inclusive visual markers and an assessment of current visual markers.
  1. Charge MarCom to create and implement a more representative mascot that celebrates inclusion and diversity while acknowledging the history of the university.
  1. The term "pioneer" is highly problematic for many, especially our Native American students, as it defined as a person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area.
  1. Place more paintings, plaques, statues, and other visual markers that represent the histories of different cultures around the campus.
  2. Assess and determine where paintings/artwork need to be removed and where plaques need to be installed that acknowledge the individuals and history in which they are named for.
  3. We expect to see progress on these initiatives by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year.
  1. Strict elimination of Boone's presence at the University of Denver.
  1. Prevent Boone (retired in 1998) from appearing at DU events and activities. The University of Denver shall prohibit any office, department or entity utilizing university funds to reproduce, display or support the image or appearance of Boone in conjunction with all University sponsored events.
  2. Implement and enforce consequences for anyone allowing Boone in public spaces.
  3. We expect to see enforcement by the Fall 2017 quarter.
  1. Student meeting with the complete Board of Trustees at least twice during an academic year.
  1. This will improve the university's transparency, as well as give students opportunities to voice their concerns.
  2. We expect these meetings to start during the Fall 2017 quarter.