An Update to Niner Nation

Categories: Chancellor's Messages

Dear Niner Nation,

We are writing with an update to our message last Friday about an incident that occurred in the Student Union when a student was briefly placed in handcuffs following a 911 call. Upon investigation, the object the student was carrying was a kirpan, an item of faith in Sikhism.

We wanted to provide an update on the actions that have been taken to date and additional actions that are planned:

  • Outreach: We are offering support and resources to the individuals affected by the event. Additionally, members of the local and global Sikh communities have reached out to offer their partnership, and we are grateful for their willingness to offer valuable perspectives as we move forward.
  • Policy Updates: We are revising our Weapons on Campus policy with the objective of accommodating the religious faith of our employees and students while protecting the safety of our campus. We are reaching out and learning from other institutions that have made similar changes, and we will engage campus representatives in the review process.
  • Education and Training: Our Office of Diversity and Inclusion is organizing a working group, composed of representatives from across campus and the community, to oversee the expansion of our cultural training opportunities – some for police officers and others for all members of our University community. This group will ensure we develop an approach that demonstrates the rich diversity of our University.

What occurred last week was not representative of the inclusive campus we know we can be. But it is a chance for us to be better – to have the important, and sometimes challenging, conversations about many aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion that will lead to a stronger, more united community.

We hope you will engage in opportunities to participate in this process, and we will continue to keep you updated through Niner Insider as we progress.

Sincerely, Sharon L. Gaber

Chancellor Brandon L. Wolfe Chief Diversity Officer