Dear Santa Clara University Community,
No work is more important than our efforts to realize a more inclusive, welcoming and safe campus where all are respected and valued.
I am writing after learning of an incident that occurred this morning involving Campus Safety officers as well as Professor Danielle Morgan of our English department, her spouse Matt Morgan, Director of Storytelling in our University Marketing & Communications team, and her brother, who was visiting them. Upon hearing of this, I reached out to the Morgans. These interactions outside their home unfolded in a manner that was hurtful to the family. As I told Danielle and Matt this morning, I am deeply sorry, and I promised to follow up.
In these hours after the incident, I can share with you some preliminary next steps. First, following my conversation with the Morgans, I asked Belinda Guthrie, Title IX Coordinator and Director of Equal Opportunity, to investigate the incident. If an outside investigator is needed, we will retain one. Second, after conversations earlier this summer with student leaders, we had already been planning training on racial profiling for our Campus Safety officers. That training will take place within the next few weeks, and will not be a one-time training but will be a regular part of ongoing formation. Third, we have scheduled a Community Conversations hour to be held this coming Tuesday, August 25 at noon. Professor Margaret Russell, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, will send more information to the University community about this listening session.
Racial bias or profiling has no place on our campus. This is our home. Only when we can all feel at home here can we all thrive and realize the promise of our mission.
Kevin F. O'Brien, S.J.