I’ve mentioned before that I work at UT Arlington. We have a very diverse student body and are in one of the more liberal areas of Texas (relatively speaking).
On the heels of the SAE chant at Oklahoma and the Temple University Delta Zeta racial slur, UTA’s President took swift action and issued a statement to the university using what I feel is very definitive language. Frankly I was very impressed at the reaction. None of my colleagues had heard of the incident. Putting it out in the public to decry the action and immediately turning it over to the police rather than trying to handle it within Student Affairs sends a very strong message.
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:
It has been brought to my attention that a racial slur was found written on a campus restroom wall this week. The graffiti was removed quickly, and the incident referred to the UT Arlington Police Department for investigation and immediate action.
Let me state the obvious: There is no place at The University of Texas at Arlington for such behavior. We are better than this, and as a community we need to uphold the highest standards of mutual respect and celebrate the diversity and inclusion that defines our institution. Actions such as the one perpetrated through graffiti are antithetical to our core values and will not be tolerated.
This is perhaps an opportune time to point to the Principles of Community drafted by a group of our faculty, staff, and students through discussion and much thought over the past few months. These points elucidate cherished principles that serve as the heart and soul of our engagement with each other and the larger community we serve. These principles bring us together and ground us in our mission of research, teaching, and public service. These must characterize the environment in which we work, communicate, and interact with each other.
The institution we continue to shape as the model 21st century urban research university will be built by us together, and I look to all of us to work together to embrace our commonality and mutual respect, now more than ever before.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns. And thank you for your support of The University of Texas at Arlington.
Vistasp M. Karbhari, President
The University of Texas at Arlington