Along with interim Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Doris Fields, President James Smith, Police Chief Matthew Lige, and other University officials have all been working collectively to investigate the racist comments and images recently painted on Eastern Michigan University Student Government’s Student Speech Wall.
Last week, three monkey images, one upside down and racist phrases were spray painted onto the Student Speech Wall which was already covered with messages from African American fraternities and sororities. There is a long history of racist imagery associating monkeys with African Americans.
According to EMU, these actions are condemned. Dr. Fields also shares the same sentiments that the university’s African-American students, faculty, and staff are feeling at this moment.
The Student Free Speech Wall encourages students to leave messages that are positive and informative. However, much of what can be posted on the wall is protected by the First Amendment.
EMU assures the community that it will continue to strive to eliminate barriers and improve race relations. EMU wants to showcase this inclusion by offering the following initiatives:
The Interim Chief Diversity Officer will be offering open DEI office hours during the summer beginning April 27 and ending Aug. 31. Walk-ins and scheduled zoom meetings will be available.
The Office of the Chief Diversity Officer will be creating a feedback process for students who wish to offer suggestions for the “Student Diversity Training Workshop” to focus on creating the culture we aspire on campus.
EMU students will be given the opportunity to discuss DEI programs and concerns by participating in the DEI Listening Tour in September 2022.
Anyone interested in participating in any of these initiatives, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.