Ohio University

Vice president for diversity and inclusion urges Bobcats to denounce COVID-19 prejudice and discrimination

Published: April 1, 2020 Author: Dr. Gigi Secuban

At OHIO, we pride ourselves on having a campus community where diversity and inclusion is a top priority. Recently, the University has become aware of widespread stereotyping, harassment, and bullying of people from Asian decent across the country related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a University, we oppose and denounce such prejudice and discrimination. COVID-19 is not specific to an ethnicity or race. Disease does not discriminate. This discriminatory behavior is inconsistent with OHIO’s values, and we are steadfast in our commitment to build a community where everyone, regardless of identity and background, can enjoy a sense of safety and inclusion.

What can you do to help?

  • Use social media and other platforms to stand against negative behaviors and statements.
  • Reach out to affected individuals and groups and assert your support.
  • Strive to stop this behavior or intervene as appropriate. At OHIO, we believe that it is the responsibility of a bystander to use effective, active means of intervention to disrupt the harm from occurring or de-escalating a situation. To learn more about how to effective intervene in these situations, please visit OHIO’s Bystander Intervention website.
  • Don’t ignore discrimination and harassment based on identity. Students, faculty, and staff who believe they have witnessed or have been the target of bias, intolerance or discrimination may report an incident online to the Office of University Equity and Civil Rights Compliance (ECRC).
  • If you or someone you know needs support or resources, we also encourage you to reach out to the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, which is committed to building an inclusive campus community.
  • Visit the CDC website for information on countering social stigmatization associated with COVID-19.

Although we are separated physically, remember OHIO is still one community, and all Bobcats deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. No matter the distance between us, we all play an important role in building a caring, equitable, and inclusive community.

For more information about Ohio University’s policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment, and for a description of Ohio University’s grievance procedures, please visit the webpage for the Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance at http://www.ohio.edu/equity-civil-rights/.