2020 Campus Climate News

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Consideration of Removing Names from University Property Policy

Nov. 25, 2020: President Wintersteen and senior leaders announce in campus-wide email the new university policy to consider removing names from university property. More information on the policy, procedures, and next steps can be found on the Consideration of Removing Names website.

Reports of social media post by a student organization, which encouraged individuals to “arm up”

Nov. 8, 2020: University leadership has addressed this with the student organization, including that university policy and the Student Code of Conduct prohibits the possession or use of weapons, including firearms, on campus and in the course of university-related activities. Any conduct in violation of this policy will be addressed under the Student Code of Conduct and according to the regulations governing the conduct of students and student organizations. Violations of the university policy could lead to student discipline, including expulsion from the university as well as restrictions to student organization activity.

Nov. 16, 2020: University administration responds to demands from a group of faculty, staff, and students regarding the student organization's social media posts. 

Inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Campus Life unit named

Nov. 6, 2020: Joseph Ballard II will serve as director, partnering with all staff who work in and students who are served by the Department of Residence, ISU Dining, and the Memorial Union to deliver an experience that maximizes all students and staff members’ success.

Draft policy on renaming is ready for public comment

Oct. 29, 2020: A public comment period will run Nov. 1-23 for a draft policy on considering the removal of names from university property. The draft will be available in the policy library.

Racist message on whiteboard

Oct. 23, 2020:  ISU Police received a report of a racial slur written on a whiteboard in the 7th-floor den of Wilson Hall. 

FAQ on the Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping

Oct. 20, 2020: University Counsel shared frequently asked questions and Iowa State University's responses regarding the Executive Order and its impact on diversity and inclusion programs.

Vandalism reported

Oct. 13, 2020: Vandalism containing derogatory messages targeting gender and sexual orientation was reported found in a Friley Hall bathroom. 

Student reports harassment

Sept. 12, 2020: A student in Buchanan Hall reported experiencing racial harassment. 

ISU Police investigating vandalism targeting the LGBTQIA+ community

Sept. 8, 2020: A report of homophobic vandalism on a whiteboard in Friley Hall.

Sept. 4, 2020: A report of homophobic vandalism on a bulletin board in Wallace Hall. 

Aug. 28, 2020: Several reports of gay slurs scratched into the walls in Friley Hall. 

ISU Police make arrest in connection with racist criminal activity in Roberts Hall

Aug. 25, 2020: Nathan Page was arrested and faces charges of criminal trespass with vandalism and criminal mischief. The Roberts Hall residential storage room was vandalized with a racist slur historically targeted at the Black community. ISU Police issued a news release with additional information. 

Student reports harassment

Aug. 24, 2020: A student and another individual walking near Wallace Rd. and Union Dr. reported being harassed about their sexual orientation and ethnicity by a group of individuals in a passing car.  

ISU Police investigating racist criminal activity in residence hall

Aug. 22, 2020: A staff member in Welch Hall reported their residential storage room was vandalized with racist graffiti. Department of Residence is providing support and resources to the staff member. Iowa State University condemns the racist criminal act. 

Aug. 22, 2020: A staff member in Roberts Hall reported their storage room was burglarized and vandalized with racist slurs. President Wintersteen expressed care and concern for the staff member and condemned the racist criminal act in a message to campus.

Racist message on car

Aug. 22, 2020:  A student reported a racist message scratched in the dust on the windshield of their car.

Racist vandalism in lecture hall

Aug. 21, 2020: ISU Police received a report of a swastika scratched into a seat in a lecture hall in Gerdin Hall.

English class syllabus violates university policies and values

Aug. 17, 2020: An instructor in an English class issued a syllabus that contained language inconsistent with University policy and violated students’ First Amendment rights to free speech. Iowa State is firmly committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of its students, faculty, and staff and having a learning environment where ideas and perspectives can be freely expressed and debated. Read the university's statement that includes the actions taken to address the situation. 

ICE rescinds international student guidance

July 14, 2020: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rescinded guidance impacting international students. President Wintersteen and the Regent university presidents said in a joint statement, "Today we are gratified this guidance by ICE has been rescinded... We will continue to advocate for our international students, who are valued members of our campuses and communities."

ICE issues guidance impacting international students

July 13, 2020: President Wintersteen reiterated Iowa State's support for international students. She and the other Regent university presidents sent a letter to Iowa's congressional delegation urging for the immediate rescission of the ICE guidance. 

July 7, 2020: President Wintersteen sent a message informing campus about new guidance impacting international students (F-1 and M-1 visa holders) studying in the U.S. and taking online classes in the fall semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Wintersteen expressed deep concern for international students and vowed "Iowa State University will do all we can to support our international students to continue their academic progress this fall."

Racist spam email sent to campus accounts

June 22, 2020: Chief Michael Newton and Interim Vice President and CIO Kristen Constant sent a message to campus condemning the racist message, outlining steps taken to respond to the email spam, providing information to protect against cyber threats as well as how to access campus support.

DACA Ruling 

June 18, 2020: President Wintersteen sent a message informing campus about the United States Supreme Court ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and affirming support for members of the campus community supported by DACA. 

Recognizing Juneteenth

June 18, 2020: President Wintersteen sent a message to campus to provide recognition and education about the Juneteenth holiday and its significance to the Black community. 

Campus leaders participate in Social Justice Forum

June 16, 2020: President Wendy Wintersteen, Vice President Reg Stewart, Chief Michael Newton, and Dean Sharron Evans joined Student Government President Morgan Fritz and Black Student Alliance President India Robinson for a discussion on social justice issues and the Black experience on campus, in our community, and across the country. The forum was organized by Student Government and a recording is available here

LGBTQIA+ rights ruling

June 15, 2020: The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, by extension protects gay and transgender individuals from being fired for reasons related to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Statement on W.T. Hornaday, campus plaque

June 11, 2020: President Wintersteen sent a message to campus denouncing the racist actions and attitudes of W.T. Hornaday, who is memorialized with a plaque on campus, and outlining next steps for moving forward. 

Taking the Lead 2020 Policing and Justice

June 11, 2020: Reg Stewart, vice president for diversity and inclusion, is moderating a panel discussion on policing and justice. ISU Police Chief Michael Newton is participating on the panel with Ames Police Chief Charles Cychosz. 

Statements on George Floyd

May 29: President Wintersteen sent a message to campus and the Iowa State University Police Department issued a statement about the tragic killing of George Floyd. 

Diversity and Inclusion COVID-19 Resources

April 23: The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion has launched a new website with resources, webinars, professional development opportunities, and identity-based support regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

InclusAbility website

April 14: The Office of Equal Opportunity has added resources and webinars to the InclusAbility website that provide knowledge and information to increase support for, and visibility of, persons with disabilities within the Iowa State campus and community.

New diversity, equity, and inclusion training

April 6: New training for employees has been launched on Learn@ISU. This training is focused on the concept of bias - why everyone has biases, and how to identify, manage, and overcome them. Type keyword "managing bias" to find the course in the Learn@ISU catalog. 

Help fight stigma associated with COVID-19

April 6: The COVID-19 virus does not target based on race, nationality or ethnicity. Individuals of Asian Descent are not more likely to get or spread the virus. COVID-19 started in Wuhan, China, but geographic origin does not correlate with vulnerability to illness. Please continue to reject stigmas associated with this pandemic. Please see these additional resources for diversity, equity, and inclusion implications and considerations associated with COVID-19: Webinar RecordingPowerPoint, and Resources/Best Practices Document

Racist vandalism in lecture hall

March 2: A student reported being the target of a racist slur and swastika scratched on their desk in Carver Hall. A message condemning this action and emphasizing classroom expectations was posted in Canvas for all students in the class. 

Incident of harassment reported in residence hall

Feb. 26: A student in Wallace Hall reported personally experiencing an act of harassment on their floor. The Department of Residence is working with the student to provide support and resources.

Student reported racist vandalism in residence hall

Feb. 24: A student reported vandalism in Wallace Hall described as a swastika scratched on a restroom stall. The Department of Residence has removed the vandalism and is reaching out to residents of the hall. 

Incident of harassment reported in residence hall

Feb. 16: A student staff member in Wallace and Wilson reported personally experiencing an act of harassment on their floor. The Department of Residence and Iowa State Police are investigating and are working with the student staff member to provide support and resources. 

Resolution censures College of Veterinary Medicine; demands presented

Feb. 12: Student Government unanimously passed a resolution to censure the College of Veterinary Medicine administration for failure to effectively respond to issues of racism, discrimination, and bigotry and promote a diverse and inclusive environment. CVM students also presented to college administration a list of demands to improve diversity and the climate of the college. 

Update: SAR forum rescheduled

The meeting with Students Against Racism originally planned for Tuesday, January 28 has been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 18, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in the Sun Room, Memorial Union. The meeting is open to all. 

Stickers with Nazi imagery reported across campus

Feb. 3: Stickers with Nazi imagery and messaging were reported in numerous locations across campus over the weekend. These hateful, racist images are abhorrent. The university condemns all forms of racism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism and bigotry. The stickers are being removed in accordance with university policy. 

First Amendment and welcoming and inclusive campus

Iowa State University will continue to champion the First Amendment in its efforts to create a campus where all individuals and ideas are welcome and included.