In early March 2020, the U.S. Department of Education issued a letter to all colleges and universities across the nation regarding concerns of discrimination and bias related to the global pandemic of COVID-19, aka "coronavirus." The letter cites increased reports regarding stereotyping, harassment, and bullying directed towards students and faculty perceived to be of Chinese-American or, more generally, Asian descent.
In this time of global crisis, it is important that we lift up and model our commitment to the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social change within our campus community.
COMBATING STIGMA ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19
Stigma and discrimination may occur when people associate an infectious disease, such as the coronavirus, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is infected or at risk for the disease. Stigma hurts everyone by creating fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is the root of this issue. Please refer to our college's website or the CDC website for additional guidance.
- Viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds.
- People—including Asian identifying folk—who have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of COVID-19 or been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of acquiring and spreading COVID-19 than other Americans.
- Share the need for social support for people who have returned from affected countries or are worried about friends or relatives in the affected region
(Language Adapted from the CDC and the University of Utah)