In November, student protesters at Oregon State University described their experiences with overt and subtle racism on campus. At the time Edward J. Ray, president of Oregon State University stated that “Oregon State University will act quickly to address the concerns of racial injustice that have been shared recently by many of our students to ensure that our university is a safer, more just, caring and inclusive community.”
Now President Ray has created a new position of chief diversity officer. He has promised quarterly town hall meetings with students so they can express their concerns. And the university will create a new referral system for students to notify the administration of bias incidents. Student representatives will be appointed to the university’s Leadership Council in Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity. Finally, the university will develop online education and orientation programs on racial awareness, diversity, and civil and social justice that will be required for all new students.
“These actions – and Oregon State’s aspiration to be a fully inclusive and just community – are not just a set of words,” President Ray said. “They are my commitment, and it is my clear understanding that ‘business as usual’ is not good enough at Oregon State University. Actions will be taken and results achieved.”