Dear Lewis & Clark College Community,
The Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities would like to take a moment to acknowledge the impact of this year’s events on our campus, community, and our nation. Not only have we faced a global pandemic that has disproportionately impacted Black and Brown people in this country, but the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Abery have continued to highlight the systemic racism and police brutality that still plagues our nation and Black Americans. Our office wants to acknowledge the trauma and frustration that our community of Black faculty, staff and students are feeling, and we want to affirm our office’s belief that Black Lives Matter.
We cannot discuss this topic without examining our own context in relation to the problem of racial injustice. Oregon, and particularly Portland, has an extensive history of racism. This history includes the stealing of land from and murdering Native Americans, creating lash laws and other state constitutional laws to drive out and perpetuate violence against Black citizens, taking 89 years to ratify the Fifteenth Amendment, redlining in Portland’s city planning, allowing members of the Klu Klux Klan to gain power over government positions, and much more. Links to more information on these atrocities can be found below. These instances are not just a part of our past, but they also contribute to our present. Portland continues to be one of the whitest cities in America, and gentrification, police brutality and other aspects of systemic racism continue to impact our communities of color, particularly our Black communities.
Beyond Oregon and Portland, our office must also acknowledge the fact that higher education conduct and judicial systems, which were created to echo our national legal systems, have contributed to the issue of systemic racism. Because of this, it is even more vital that our office is reflecting on how we are actively engaging in anti-racist work that protects the rights of all of our students and centers the well-being of our community.
The Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities wants to reconfirm our mission’s commitment to educate for civic leadership, promote equity and inclusion, pursue balance when harm occurs, and to protect the welfare of the community and the individual. We will continue to:
- Center a Restorative Justice and a compassionate lens when managing conduct cases;
- Educate our community on conflict competence through peaceful, restorative practices; and
- Promote each student’s right to due process and an unbiased hearing officer.
The Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities also commits to the following actions to help combat racism on our campus:
- Our office will conduct on-going review of our training and practices, so that they continue to reflect the Association for Student Conduct Administration Ethical Principles and Practices;
- Our office will be partnering with the Office of Equity & Inclusion to create more in-depth and formalized anti-bias training sessions that all new SRR Resolution Coordinators and Hearing Officers will need to complete before hearing student conduct cases;
- Our office will continue to conduct on-going assessment of case numbers by policy type and by demographics to help root out potential bias, to inform how we train our staff, and to provide other departments with in order to guide their own trainings;
- Our office will be working to create resources to support civic engagement and community leadership on and off campus;
- Our office will continue to be committed to transparency, and we welcome students meeting with us to gain clarity on our processes or to offer suggestions for changes to our processes.
Our hope, moving forward, is that the conversations generated, this summer, about systemic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement do not end when the media coverage ends. The goal of Student Rights & Responsibilities is to help educate students on their rights, but to also educate them on how their actions (or lack thereof) impact the people around them. As members of a college community, we have a responsibility to each other to ensure every faculty, staff and student on this campus feel welcome and their rights are respected. We all have a responsibility as members of this community to step up and speak up when we see the rights of others being violated. We must continue to practice allyship in every word we speak and action we take on or off campus.
If you need to report an incident of bias, we encourage you to do so by clicking on this link.
The Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities
Resources for Furthering The Conversation
Information on Oregon’s Racist History
- Black Exclusion Laws in Oregon - Source: Oregon Historical Society
- “ When Portand banned blacks: Oregon’s shameful history as an ‘all-white’ state” - Source: The Washington Post
- [Podcast] “Oregon was America’s first and only state to being as ‘whites-only’” - Source: The Washington Post
- “Portland’s gentrification has its roots in racism” - Source High Country News
Lewis & Clark College Resources
- How to Propose a Revision to Lewis & Clark’s Student Code of Conduct or College Policies
- Reporting discrumination, harassment, hate or bias motivated incidents
On Campus Resources
- Associated Students of Lewis & Clark (ASLC)
- Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI)
- Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement (IME) - “The Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement supports and empowers historically marginalized students at Lewis & Clark College to achieve academic success, persist to graduation, and become critically conscious and inclusive leaders.”
- Student Leadership and Service (SLS) - “With a focus on racial equity and social justice, Student Leadership and Service (SLS) connects students and community partners for service-learning and community engagement.”
Resources for Allyship
- Guidelines for Being Strong White Allies - Source: Racial Equity Tools
- [Live Doc] Anti-racism Resources - Source: NASPA
- Information Around Voting for Primary Elections - Source: USA.GOV
The Mission of Student Rights and Responsibilities:
Student Rights and Responsibilities educates for civic leadership, promotes equity and inclusion, pursues balance when harm occurs, and protects the welfare of the community and the individual.
We develop conflict competence through peaceful, restorative practices.
Come visit us in Templeton 103 and learn more about us here.
Here are some examples of how students may come to interact with our office:
- They have been documented at a situation in which violations of college policy may have occurred
- They are seeking assistance to mitigate a conflict in their life (school, personal, social, etc)
- They would like to work with the student committee on improving college policies
- They are involved in an investigation related to college policy
- They would like to report potential policy violations that they have witnessed
Click here to view our student conduct flowchart.
Look for Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Student Life Briefing Book!