The dual public health crises of racism and COVID-19 have created challenging times for our students, faculty and staff of color, and particularly for our Black students, faculty and staff.
To this end, Black United Students (BUS) continues to provide leadership at Kent State, and the advocacy of its members has helped to make Kent State a better institution. 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 to equality and justice.
Be assured that Kent State is taking action.
To date, here are steps the university has taken, in partnership with BUS, to combat racial inequality and ensure the safety of our Black community:
- Installation of security cameras
- Increase lighting around the Rock
- Hire more security aides and expand hours for student escort services, including providing these services during the day
- Promote and enlist the support of Black United Students to enhance the recruitment and retention of students
- Anti-bias training for faculty, staff and students
- Creating incentives for faculty through Center for Teaching and Learning focused cohorts (diversity focus)
- Requiring anti-bias workshops for all new Kent State employees
- Conduct a formal review of the Student Code of Conduct
- Implement policies and procedures for painting the Rock
- Explore the creation of a platform for notifying students, faculty and staff about hate speech/acts
- Create a platform/website for anti-racism statements, announcements and actions of the university
- Explore off-campus and on-campus police relationship
- Implemented 2015/2016 Faculty Hiring Initiative, Academic Affairs
- Expanded Student Success programs in University College/Academic Affairs
- Completed University Climate Study (2016) and conducted follow-up efforts in various divisions, colleges and departments
- Completed eight-week race and equity training of President’s Cabinet by the University of Southern California (USC) Race and Equity Institute, Fall 2019
- Held Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Race Symposium as part of the university’s Great Place Initiative, January 2020
- Completed key transitions in senior leadership including Lamar R. Hylton, Ph.D., to Vice President for Student Affairs and Amoaba Gooden, Ph.D., to Interim Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Held eight town halls for students, faculty and staff, July-September 2020
- Conducted campus-wide diversity audit by the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Summer 2020