Many Voices, One College
Dean Lorin Warnick led a discussion on inclusion in the College community on Monday with approximately 60 faculty, staff and students. The group addressed a range of topics, with some attendees sharing personal experiences and others offering suggestions to encourage open communication about inclusion and diversity at the College. Many noted the desire to draw in underrepresented groups, as well as the need to make members of such groups feel welcome once they arrive at the College. Dean Warnick also asked for additional input on future dialogue topics to continue engaging the community more broadly. This discussion follows a direct initiative from the strategic plan the dean introduced in fall 2017 as well as an inciting incident with a Black Lives Matter poster last week. Angela Winfield, Director of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity for Cornell, informed the group about campus-wide inclusion plans.
The dean sent the following message about this topic last weekend:
As we start a new year and semester, it is important that we continue to cultivate an environment and culture in which all students, faculty and staff feel included, valued and able to express their opinions. At the College of Veterinary Medicine, our diverse community makes us stronger, and it is our responsibility to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring respect, dignity and safety for everyone.
I am writing to you today because earlier this week Black Lives Matter posters displayed by our community members were removed without consent and defaced after they were re-posted. I did not write sooner to allow time for the Cornell University Police Department to begin their initial investigation. While we encourage civil discourse of diverse views, we have zero tolerance for defacing of public or private property, hate speech or discrimination. This sort of behavior performed under the cloak of anonymity threatens the open and inclusive climate we seek to create. I encourage everyone to demonstrate respect, understanding and support for all your fellow students and coworkers. Our behaviors speak volumes and have profound impacts on other members of our community.
As I said in my recent State of the College Address, I and other College leadership will begin hosting a monthly diversity and inclusion dialogue series, “Many Voices, One College.” This will provide an open forum for honest discussion where we can cultivate understanding. I encourage you to attend and share your views and ideas on how to create a welcoming and supportive community. I will host the first of these this Monday, January 22nd. Please bring your lunch and join me for a discussion at noon in the green room (S2-223) adjacent to the Café. I also remind you of important resources available (listed below) if you would like to speak with someone or would like professional guidance on issues faced in the workplace or as students. Also, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.
From my many years of working in the College, I am confident that we have a strong community that is supportive of one another, where we value principles of mutual respect and equality, and can resolve differences through discourse.
I look forward to working with all of you this coming year and appreciate all you do to contribute to the education, research and outreach missions of the College.
Lorin D. Warnick, DVM, PhD
Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine
To report a bias incident Click Here
Cornell’s Harassment, Discrimination, and Bias Reporting website also offers a range of valuable resources
All: CVM Peer Support Network (PSN) is for anyone in need of someone to talk to. They are colleagues, not counsellors, and can provide informal support and assistance and direct you to other College and University resources. This year’s PSN Brochure is attached. It lists the current PSN Volunteers and their contact information and various resources available in the college. You may contact any of the volunteers. If you aren’t sure who would be most appropriate you can find out more about each of them on the big yellow posters displayed around the college or on the PSN website at: http://web.vet.cornell.edu/cvm/psn/
Students: Student Peer Mentors are available to offer support and connect you to other college and university resources. If you need assistance contacting one of these student peers, contact Jai Sweet at firstname.lastname@example.org
Students: Cornell Health Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a safe, confidential resource available to help students address stress, anxiety, depression and other issues. Our CAPS resource is Paul Soper, who can be reached at email@example.com, and hold office hours at the College on Tuesdays from 12:00-4:00.
Faculty & Staff: The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) offers free and confidential guidance and support, as well as referral to other community resources; call 607-255-2673 or https://fsap.cornell.edu/
All: The Empathy and Referral Services (EARS) offer non-judgmental, short term counseling by skilled volunteers. Call 607-255-3277 or stop by in 213 Willard Straight Hall.