Dear Members of the Loyola Community,
The start of the new academic year is an important time for our university community to focus on our deep commitment to issues of equity, inclusion, and social justice. Expressing that commitment in words is important, but even more important is how those words match the actions and the work we are doing as a community.
Last fall, when members of the Class of 2023 experienced bias incidents as early as Fall Welcome Weekend, we acted immediately to address our institutional responsibility to speak against and work against racism in every form. Our president, Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., and other senior leaders spoke about those incidents with all first-year students during Fall Welcome Weekend. ALANA Services provided additional support to first-year ALANA students. Over the course of the semester, we held listening sessions, discussions on racial justice, and a “Speak Up to Microaggressions” training for students. The Student Government Association developed a powerful BMore Kind campaign.
New for 2020-2021 academic year
Our efforts last year prepared us to move forward with purpose and implement changes for this year including:
New diversity, equity, and inclusion course:
We added an online diversity, equity, and inclusion course for all first-year students beginning this fall. Most members of the Class of 2024 have already completed that mandatory online course, which offers a comprehensive program exploring identity, bias, power, privilege and oppression, teaching the benefits of being part of a diverse community, and helping participants develop skills related to ally behavior, self-care, and creating inclusive spaces.
Changes to the bias response process:
We held listening sessions with current students and alumni to inform the changes we have made to the bias response process. Learn more about those changes on the Report Bias website
, the Bias Reporting Process page
, and see this video sharing an overview of the changes
Summary of last year’s bias reports
In the interest of transparency, we are sharing with you the bias reports from the last academic year. Between July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020, 49 bias reports were received, with 14 reports determined as “not bias” or lacking sufficient information to determine whether biased behavior occurred. While bias was undetermined, these incidents have a significant impact on our community. When possible, alleged offenders were addressed by a senior-level administrator reinforcing our community standards, expectations, and values.
When you look at the cases, 35 involved bias-related behavior, 21 involved race/ethnicity, 7 involved gender, 6 involved disability, 4 involved other identities not listed on the bias report form, 3 involved physical appearance, 1 involved religion, 1 involved sexual identity, and 1 involved socioeconomic status. Some incidents included multiple types of bias.
Brief summaries of the bias reports submitted between July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020 are available for review on the Bias Incidents Summaries page.
We hope reflecting on these incidents from last year will compel us to disavow all behaviors and attitudes that are not aligned with our mission, as we continue to foster an equitable, inclusive, and socially just community for all. Let’s work together to ensure that the 2020-2021 academic year is a wonderful one for all members of our Loyola community.
Donelda Cook, Ph.D., Vice President for Student Development
Robert Kelly, Ph.D., Vice President and Special Assistant to the President
Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., NCC, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer