College and University Leaders Take a Stand against Discrimination By Dr. Brooke Wells

In the wake of the President Trump’s aggressive and swift actions on immigration, college and university leaders are increasingly taking a stronger stance in response to these actions. In fact, Bennington College lists the nearly 200 colleges and universities (as of 2/2/17) who have signed on to a letter to President Trump urging him “to take a more forceful stand against harassment, hate, and acts of violence”.

What do you think about this action? How do we take a stand against discrimination and bias on college campuses in a political atmosphere that institutionally supports these practices? And outside of political action, how do we take steps to prevent discrimination on our campuses? As a plethora of research indicates associations between school climate and policies and negative academic and health outcomes among marginalized students, it’s clear that universities must be proactive in creating spaces that are free from discrimination. Interestingly new research points to the role of supportive (rather than punitive) strategies to handle LGBT bullying, which may also extend to other forms of discrimination. How could universities and colleges support all students in ending discrimination and ameliorating its effects among marginalized students?

What do you think? How should universities and colleges be handling the issues of discrimination, both at the national level and locally?