On Dec. 7, 2020 Gonzaga University hosted a virtual Town Hall to address the hateful attack during a Black Student Union meeting and to publicly address the broader issues of race, inclusion and diversity across our campus.
The Town Hall was open to all GU community members – students, faculty, staff and alumni. During and after the session, participants submitted 60 questions, responses to which appear below.
We have taken the time necessary to fully consider the questions, responses and actions needed. And we deeply appreciate the patience of BSU members and others as GU leaders undertook this important work.
Please note that we have repeated the questions exactly as submitted and organized the questions and responses into six thematic categories:
- Our Campus Climate
- Our Academic Environment
- Improving Faculty/Staff Diversity
- Safety & Accountability
- In the Community
- What’s Ahead
Many of the questions received were similar and therefore carry similar responses and commitments. While some may find this document to be repetitive, we believed it important to honor every question brought forth by attendees.
University leadership recognizes that Gonzaga can and must improve if we are to reflect our commitment to the dignity of the human person, social justice, diversity and intercultural competence. As such, key findings, actions and commitments within this document include:
- Diversity, equity and inclusion is integral for the GU community and achieving this is our collective responsibility.
- As of March 1, 79 percent of GU faculty and staff (1,313) have completed DiversityEdu, an online cultural fluency program that covers a variety of topics including implicit bias, microaggressions, white privilege and other issues critical to deepening the collective cultural competence of our community.
- Investigation into the Nov. 8, 2020 attack on the BSU continues. To date, there is no evidence to suggest that the racist and hateful words and actions were perpetrated by GU students or staff.
- Gonzaga has committed to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities within the faculty and staff to 20 percent by 2025.
- Initiatives are currently under way in departments across the campus to examine staff and faculty hiring, practices and curriculum to ensure that they are diverse, inclusive, equitable, and comprehensive.
As a Catholic, Jesuit, humanistic university, we must be guided by an understanding of what it means to educate the whole person and that students, faculty, staff and the institution itself must work together toward the realization of the common good through the service of faith and promotion of justice.
The University is committed to ongoing dialogue and action that provides for a safe campus environment – free from discrimination, bias, and hate – that is welcoming to all individuals. Equity, diversity and inclusion must and will remain a central focus for all of us at Gonzaga University today and in the future.
Additional information on the University’s plan with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion can be found in: