Letter to the university community on the Derek Chauvin Trial

Dear university community,

It has been nearly a year since we witnessed the brutal killing of George Floyd. Since that time, we have witnessed numerous other acts of violence across our country. Today’s verdict finding Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department guilty for George Floyd’s death reminds us of the anger, sadness, and fear felt by our community during the last year. 

How our community moves forward impacts our ongoing fight against racism and the growth of our campus culture:

Can we grow, collaborate, and become a more civil community, welcoming all people and celebrating our differences? 

Can we prioritize coalition building leading to real change?

The Reimagining Campus Safety Action Committee is finalizing strategies, tactics, and timelines for creating a campus community supporting all individuals’ safety. Recommendations will focus on people who have traditionally experienced disproportionate harm from law enforcement systems. This institutional change will be created through listening, dialogue, and action over time.   

We recognize there may be a desire for community members to engage in conversation around the verdict. Today, we are announcing opportunities that are open to the university community.

Student Support Spaces
Students are invited to meet with a University Counseling Service staff member to engage in personal healing and reflection. This is an opportunity to engage in group and/or individual conversation. Students are invited to drop in at any time during the scheduled time. This is not a space to debate, but rather to process and reflect.

These events are a collaboration between the Center for Diversity & Enrichment, the Office of Multicultural & International Student Support & Engagement, and University Counseling Service.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cassie Walizer in advance at (319) 335-3555.

Mindful and Engaged Hawkeyes
Students, faculty, and staff are invited to come together to be in community with each other, reflect and share personal reactions and thoughts, and learn from others as they share their own experiences and opinions. This is a chance to explore complexities and dialogue with others in the Hawkeye community. 

April 21, 9 to 10 a.m. (in person, Iowa Memorial Union room 166)

April 22, 1 to 2 p.m. (virtual)

April 28, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. (in person, IMU room 166)

April 29, 4 to 5 p.m. (virtual)

May 5, 9 to 10 a.m. (virtual)

May 6, 4 to 5 p.m. (in person, IMU room 166)

These events are offered by the Office of the Dean of Students. Please see the Mindful and Engaged Hawkeyes website to learn more.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Nikki Hodous in advance at (319) 335-1162.

On our campus and within our community:

We will not tolerate anything but a safe and inclusive campus for people of all backgrounds regardless of their race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, and associational preferences.

We value the First Amendment and freedom of expression and believe civil discourse and the respectful exchange of ideas are the cornerstones of higher education and this great institution.

We work to ensure everyone’s safety in shared spaces.

We are here for you, and there are many resources are available listed below.

Student resources

Campus resources

Faculty and staff resources

Sincerely,

Bruce Harreld, president

Kevin Kregel, executive vice president, and provost

Liz Tovar, executive officer and associate vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion

Sarah Hansen, vice president for student life

old cap at sunset