Action Steps

The dual public health crises of racism and COVID-19 have created challenging times for Kent State University's students, faculty and staff of color, particularly for members of our Black community.

Since 1968, Black United Students (BUS) has provided leadership and advocacy to help make Kent State a better institution. In Fall 2020, Black United Students presented a list of demands to President Diacon to address racism. The organization’s willingness to work with the university, share concerns and draw our attention to areas that need improvement has provided invaluable assistance as Kent State carves a new path towards equity and justice.

Kent State agreed to the action steps as the recommendations would support the University's efforts to becoming a more welcoming campus.

Below are the steps the university has taken, in partnership with BUS, to combat racism and to ensure the safety of Kent State's Black community members.

1. Security Cameras - Completed

Action steps

  • Installation of security cameras

Completed

  • In Fall 2020, security cameras were added in the area of the Rock.
2. Rock Lighting - Completed

Action Steps

  • Increase lighting around the Rock

Completed

  • In Fall 2020, additional lighting was added in the area of the Rock.
3. Security Aides - Completed

Action Steps

  • Hire more security aides and expand hours for student escort services, including providing these services during the day.

Progress

  • The Security Aide program has expanded the total number of student security aides to approximately 50. This expansion of staff has allowed for expanded hours of service. Students are now able to get an escort from 8 a.m. – 2 a.m., Sunday – Wednesday, and 8 a.m. – 3:30 a.m., Thursday - Saturday.
4. BUS Participation

Action Steps

  • Promote and enlist the support of Black United Students to enhance the recruitment and retention of students

Progress

  • Underway
5. Anti-bias Training

Action steps

  • Creating incentives for faculty through Center for Teaching and Learning focused cohorts (diversity focus)

  • Requiring anti-bias workshops for all new Kent State employees

PROGRESS

  • Underway
6. Student Code of Conduct Review - Completed

aCTION stEPS

  • Conduct a formal review of the Student Code of Conduct

cOMPLETED

  •  A comprehensive review of the student conduct policy was conducted in October 2020. This review was initiated by Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Lamar Hylton, and led by Dean of Students Dr. Talea Drummer-Ferrell and Associate Dean of Students/Director, Student Conduct Todd Kamenash. A committee of faculty, staff and students was charged by me to examine all aspects of our policy and process through the lens of equity, inclusivity and justice. Several recommendations were made, including updating and reorganizing the definitions for discrimination, gender-based discrimination and harassment within the Code of Student Conduct.
7. Rock Policy - Completed

Action Steps

  • Implement policies and procedures for painting the Rock.

Completed

  • A cross-functional team of students, faculty and staff developed an administrative policy regarding painting the rock. This policy was approved by the Kent State Board of Trustees at the December 2020 board meeting. The policy provides administrative procedures for Kent State University community members’ usage of the rock.
8. Notification Platform

Action Steps

  • Explore the creation of a platform for notifying students, faculty and staff about hate speech/acts

Progress

  • Underway
9. Website Presence - Completed

Action steps

  • Create a platform/website for anti-racism statements, announcements and actions of the university

Completed

10. Police Relationships

ACTION STEPS

  • Explore off-campus and on-campus police relationship

Progress

  • Kent State University students, faculty, and staff continue to examine ways to enhance relationships with Kent State University Police Department as well as the Kent City Police Department and surrounding jurisdictions.