President Schatzel and Towson University leaders shared a message with campus.
Dear TU Community –
Alongside the global COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed more than 100,000 lives in the U.S., the senseless and violent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others before them have magnified the long history of structural racism, persistent inequity and entrenched dehumanization of marginalized communities.
We want to take a moment to acknowledge the frustration and sorrow so many within our community are experiencing. The highly visible racial violence against African Americans and other people of color has left many of us exhausted and anguished. It is our hope that you can find moments of respite and restoration in the midst of it all. Know that your TU community is here to provide support in every way we can.
As we navigate these challenging and historic times, many are choosing to exercise their voices with hopes of creating a transformative movement from this moment. Towson University’s academic mission and founding as a normal school is grounded in social justice. We support the positive and peaceful engagement of members of our community and their resolve to address these pressing social issues while exercising freedom of expression, and we believe it can enhance both academic and leadership development in our students.
In 2019, TU established the Tiger Advocacy Advisory Team (TAAT) to support students' awareness of campus policies and the Student Code of Conduct when they exercise their First Amendment rights and participate in civic engagement. Under the leadership of the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity (OIIE), TAAT's mission is to help students participate in peaceful demonstrations and successful events that follow university policies both on and off campus and also allow their voices to be heard: through social media activity, demonstrations, protests and rallies. We encourage all members of the campus community to learn more about TAAT and ways they can become involved in its mission.
Finally, we know that activism and advocacy can take a mental and physical toll. To that end, there are a number of anti-racism education and support resources available to members of the TU community needing support at this time. Now, more than ever, we encourage you to reach out for support, community, healing, reflection, education or additional ways to help.
While we may be geographically separated, our values are inextricably linked. We invite every member of the TU community to stay committed to diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice. This work is challenging and requires time, energy, reflection, struggle and emotional labor. Working in solidarity against injustice and creating more spaces for those targeted to be supported, included and embraced will help continue TU’s momentum.
Take care of yourself and each other.
Kim Schatzel, Ph.D.
Vernon Hurte, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Leah Cox, Ph.D.
Vice President for Inclusion & Institutional Equity
Melanie Perreault, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
Advocacy and support for underrepresented populations: Center for Student Diversity (CSD), email@example.com
Confidential employee support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues: Employee Assistance Program, 855-410-7628
Educational sessions, trainings, conversations for your department, unit, or team: OIIE, firstname.lastname@example.org
Teaching resources, including engaging students in online classes: Faculty Academic Center of Excellence at Towson (FACET), FACET@towson.edu
Mental health consultation for students, referral assistance, workshops and online resources: Counseling Center, email@example.com