Official College Statements

Our diverse college community coupled with today's complex and rapidly changing world events, often creates opportunities for the College to create and distribute official college statements. Official statements are designed to communicate timely, sensitive or critical information to our internal community and the general public, as well as support our goal to create an informed, equitable and safe environment for all students, faculty and staff.

Protocol and procedures regarding when these official college statements are made, as well as archives of previous statements, can be found below.

Our diverse college community coupled with today’s complex and rapidly changing world events, often creates opportunities for the College to create and distribute official college statements. Official statements are designed to communicate timely, sensitive or critical information to our internal community and the general public, as well as support our goal to create an informed, equitable and safe environment for all students, faculty and staff.

Official college statements will be issued by the President or Executive Cabinet. At times, the SLCC Board of Trustees may also make an official college statement.

These guidelines have been established to help us respond to events in an appropriate and empathic way:

  • If an incident occurs on a SLCC campus or during a college-sponsored event (including in-person and online events) involving our faculty, staff and/or students, the President will generate and distribute a college-wide message sharing the news and any action taken
  • For incidents that take place at the national, state and local levels, SLCC’s Executive Cabinet will determine whether to offer an institutional message and if so, identify the appropriate audience(s) for the message. These decisions will be considered on a case-by-case basis as it is impossible to anticipate all that can or will happen in the larger public square but will largely be based on the impact the incident has on our community or communities of interest.
  • Official college statements will be approved by the SLCC President, Executive Cabinet, or the Board of Trustees and will be distributed through official college channels including, but not be limited to, specific and/or regularly scheduled president’s messages, email messages, the college website and social media channels, and press releases.

2021

Colleagues,

Like many of you, we are watching closely, and with concern, recent developments that could potentially impact the future of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and hundreds of thousands of Dreamers across the United States.

As Utah’s most diverse college, we want to reaffirm our ongoing support for all undocumented students in Utah. Recently SLCC joined other higher education institutions in Utah and signed on to the Utah DACA impact statement which aims to increase awareness and advocacy on behalf of undocumented peoples living in Utah. SLCC has also signed on to a letter encouraging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to pass the bipartisan Durbin-Graham DREAM Act of 2021.

One of SLCC’s best student resources is our Dream Center. Housed at our West Valley Campus location, the Dream Center provides specialized advising and scholarship support. Dream Center staff are currently available to meet with undocumented students via telephone, video conference, and in-person appointments. To schedule a meeting with the Dream Center, reach out to Brenda Santoyo. Dream Center Success Scholarships are also available for eligible students. The College continues to promote education and awareness around immigration issues through the Undocumented Student Resource Committee and in partnership with the University of Utah through UndocuAlly Resources for educators and students.

We are strongest when we all support one another and our goals, hopes and dreams. We continue to support the passing of needed immigration legislation that will positively impact the lives of so many and will remain committed to promoting the hopes and ambitions of every SLCC student, including Dreamers living in Utah.

Deneece

Deneece G. Huftalin, PhD
President
Salt Lake Community College
Go Bruins!

The death of George Floyd last summer brought feelings of fear, hurt, betrayal and frustration to the members our SLCC family. These emotions have been reinforced by the senseless deaths of far too many in our society. 

While we are grateful justice has prevailed in this case, there is still much work to be done. We recognize SLCC plays an important role in transforming society by fighting racism, inequity and indifference. As Utah’s most diverse college, we believe in providing a safe environment that enables every student to reach their full potential, and we will continue to do all we can to foster a culture of anti-racism, mutual respect and trust. 

The college is in a unique position to prepare students to change their communities for the better. Since last summer, SLCC, in partnership with our many diverse student groups, created a number of programs designed to address society’s problems both individually and collectively. We encourage everyone at the college to explore these programs and consider getting involved. 

Today, our thoughts are with George Floyd’s family. Going forward, we hope that everyone at SLCC will take an active role in building a better world by standing up for each other in the spirt of caring and compassion. We can accomplish real, lasting change by eliminating our divisions and indifference toward our fellow humans. Today and every day, let’s make a difference by examining and changing unjust systems and treating everyone with kindness and dignity. 

We, the Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion (JEDI) Senate Committee, move that the Faculty Senate at Salt Lake Community College adopts this Anti-Racism Declaration*

Anti-Racism Declaration

Context/Catalyst

"For the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master's house as their only source of support."

- Audre Lorde

Recent occurrences of anti-Black police brutality, anti-Asian racism and violence, and an increase of race-based hate crimes across the U.S. have drawn massive protests and civil action as well as response from professional academic organizations and institutions of higher learning. This Antiracism Declaration is a similar commitment to join in the struggle against systemic racism by committing to that work at Salt Lake Community College. We take up this work with humility, recognizing that antiracism efforts are part of a long history in which systemic racism has often been met with inadequate responses. Our goal is to not only make commitments, but to actively undertake the difficult and transformative work of anti-racism.

We, the Faculty Senate at Salt Lake Community College, support various movements that recognize that Black lives matter; thus, we must work to eradicate white supremacy and intervene against the violence inflicted on Black communities. And we recognize that this movement emerges within a long history of struggles for civil rights for all Black, Asian, Indigenous and other people of color in the U.S. Peoples of color worldwide face economic injustices, state-sanctioned brutality, inequitable access to education and healthcare, voter suppression, discrepancy in housing, disproportionate effects of COVID-19, and attacks from white supremacist domestic terrorists. We must no longer ignore that the United States of America is a powerful contributor to injustice both at home and globally. Nor can we ignore the systemic racism embedded in higher education and our own college. Racial injustice is sustained through processes, policies, and structures that have a long history in our nation. As an institution embedded in this society, we recognize that we are not separate from the global justice and liberation movements/struggles nor the oppressive systems that force them to exist.

The key tenets of critical race theory and anti-racism pedagogy demonstrate that racism is endemic and requires foundational change, that anti-racist education must be intersectional, and that we must center and uplift the voices that tell the counternarrative, we recognize our responsibility to actively engage in this work.

Anti-Racism Resolutions

We are resolute in creating a learning environment where all students can learn and succeed, feel safe, and contribute their very best. We are resolute in creating a community that is safe and supportive of our faculty and academic professionals of color. SLCC commits to the ongoing antiracism work of learning, reflection, education, and revision of our practices to make meaningful change. Therefore, 

  1. We resolve to explicitly affirm our commitment to becoming a space that can identify as an anti-racist academic institution. We support the SLCC Board of Trustee's Declaration Against Structural Racism.
  2. We resolve to recognize and unlearn our unconscious biases, and to learn to develop and implement strategies that dismantle systemic racism within our institution and community.
  3. We resolve to do the work that will result in our anti-racism commitment being reflected in the life and culture of the Salt Lake Community College through transparency, training, policies, programs, marketing, schools, pedagogies, course materials, curriculum, and practice -- as we continue to learn about racism.

*This Anti-Racism Declaration is a living document. It will be brought to the Equity Diversity & Inclusion Council for Transformation (EDICT), a campus-wide body with President Huftalin as the Executive Sponsor and the Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. LeaLani Kinikini, as the Senior Leadership Team Lead. JEDI Senate is one of the members of EDICT, along with several key administrators. This declaration will serve as a starting point for conversation and collaboration across the college to achieve these resolutions. Through EDICT, JEDI Senate will continually revisit it as the landscape of our campus culture evolves. If further revisions and/or resolutions are necessary to ensure that we are collaboratively transforming our campus culture to reflect the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, we will return to Faculty Senate with a revised version of this Anti-Racism Declaration. In addition, this Antiracism Declaration will be brought to general counsel at the college to ensure that it is not in violation of any anti-discrimination laws.

Our SLCC community is mourning another violent attack in our nation. The shocking death of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, in Atlanta at the hands of a violent man, is devastating and part of a deeply disturbing trend of increased crime against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. At SLCC, we strongly condemn this most recent hateful act as well as others that have occurred during the past year. We stand with members of our Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, on our campuses and throughout the nation, and grieve with them. Our thoughts are also with the victims of this most recent incident and their families.

Since the start of the pandemic, some of SLCC’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students, staff and faculty have experienced elevated fears and anxiety over the uptick in violence directed toward their communities. As the most diverse higher education institution in Utah, we strive to create and maintain a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, and one way we do this is by condemning hate and bigotry wherever it is found. We ask everyone in our Bruin family to do all they can to support their fellow community members and actively stand against racism and xenophobia. If you experience or witness an incidence of bias at SLCC, please don’t hesitate to report it by filling out our Hate and Bias Incident Report Form

Please, also be especially mindful of our SLCC AAPI students, staff and faculty who may be suffering. For more information on how we can serve as allies with the Asian community, please check out “Centering Our Asian Identity,” a cultural guide created by our Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and Asian Student Association advisor Matthew Wong. 

Again, our hearts are with all who have been affected by this tragedy. Know that SLCC stands with you, now and always. If you or anyone you know needs extra support during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Center for Health and Counseling, or if you are an employee, our Employee Assistance Program

Colleagues…

With a heavy and disappointed heart, I must share that today during our Black Student Union’s Poetry Slam, unknown online hackers entered the virtual space and displayed anti-Black racist messages and inappropriate images of children.

What was meant to be a liberating space for freedom of speech, creative expression and celebration was affronted inexcusably by online hackers. As our country has mourned and protested this year over other social injustices, inequities and harm experienced by our African American and Black community members, this incident reminds us that even very close to home there are people who are intentionally seeking to foster anti-Black messages of hate and new forums where they can find opportunities.

My thanks go out to Ms. Glory Johnson-Stanton and other Student Affairs and Health and Counseling staff who acted quickly and compassionately to support the Black Student Union leaders and students in attendance. Please know that continued support and assistance can be found through the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, the Dean of Students Office or through the SLCC Center for Health and Counseling.

Our Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs staff, advisors and the members of the Black Student Union have planned important and meaningful events to celebrate Black history. My hope is that all of you will stand in support of their work by attending their events, engaging with them in community and conversation and finding ways to make your own spaces more inclusive.

There is no space for hateful and racist speech on our campuses. SLCC Public Safety, Utah Highway Patrol, and SLCC’s Office of Information Technology are actively investigating this incident and we will take action against those who were involved. We have strong mechanisms for reporting and responding to hate and bias speech, including the Hate & Bias Incident Report Form and we continue to strengthen our mitigation mechanisms to ensure all our campuses, learning and working spaces, including (now more than ever) online spaces, are free from racism, hate, intimidation and interference with learning. 

Deneece

Deneece G. Huftalin, PhD
President
Salt Lake Community College
Go Bruins!

2020

Dear Community Leaders,

As Trustees of Utah's most diverse higher education institution, we join Salt Lake Community College’s students, faculty, staff and administration in speaking out against systemic racism and the long-term effects of racial and ethnic discrimination. The murder of George Floyd and too many others and the subsequent protests that call for an end to the violence against the Black community have compelled us to reflect and act. We are deeply committed to confronting racial disparities, and we will work to create a more just and inclusive country, state and college.

Some of us have experienced discrimination personally. We have watched family members fight for our Latinx ancestors to be laid to rest in national cemeteries after serving this country in World War I. We have been coached to stop speaking our native language to ensure we wouldn't have an accent that could "hinder" our success in college. We have been stopped by police and questioned without justification. We have felt the burden of code switching between environments to accommodate cultural "norms" while suppressing our whole selves. We have lived in countries where we were confronted daily with the human suffering and consequences created by Apartheid. And some of us, while not directly suffering from discrimination, have witnessed its effects for far too long. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castille, Ahmaud Arbery, Bernado Palacious-Carbajal and many others have angered all of us and remind us that persistent racism, though at times publicly tempered, is alive and well in our country.

As a board, we have high expectations that SLCC will lead in confronting and dismantling structural barriers that impede equity. While today's focus is on the institutional injustices in policing, we recognize systemic racism is embedded in many long-standing institutions. As leaders in higher education, we commit to listen more intently, speak out against injustices and share our own lived experiences. Most importantly, we will ensure that Black students, Indigenous students, Pacific Islander students, Asian students and Latinx students will see their histories, cultures, contributions and experiences centered in college's curriculum and practices. We will also continue to hold SLCC's administration accountable for creating a learning environment where all can learn and succeed.

We ask you to join us in taking action to transform organizations. Name racist practices and where you can confront, confront. Where you can listen, listen. Where you can act, act. Now is the time to make a sustained commitment to work together to live into our values of inclusion and true community.

Respectfully yours,
Salt Lake Community College
Board of Trustees

SLCC students, faculty and staff,

Like many of you, I am feeling deep pain and a sense of hopelessness in the days since the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of those who are charged to protect and serve. Unfortunately, this horrific and unacceptable murder is the latest example of racism, inequity and indifference, and my heart aches for him and the many others who have been lost to senseless acts of hatred and violence. But my feelings pale in comparison to our students, faculty and staff of color, and specifically our Black community members, who may have experienced these acts personally and for whom feelings of fear, hurt, betrayal, frustration and distrust are daily companions.

As a community, we pride ourselves in being the most racially and ethnically diverse higher education institution in Utah. We know that diversity enhances the learning environment. We claim inclusivity and integrity in our values and strive to be a place where all feel welcomed and heard, and, where we do the right things for the right reasons. Never before have these two values been more important. We must step up to counter acts of hatred, and create a safe environment where every student can reach their full potential, wrapped in a culture of compassion, justice and mutual respect. 

But it is clear that we have more work to do. Just a few months ago, at SLCC 360, Tia Brown McNair challenged us to do more than just talk about equity. She implored us to walk with equity. Her book, From Equity Talk to Equity Walk reminds us that:

although terms such as institutionalized racism or equity-mindedness are understood in theory, it is far more challenging to identify them in our own actions or the actions of others, in our routines or the routines of our colleagues, departments and institutions.  It does not come naturally; it requires a knowledge base; it takes a lot of intentional practice.

We are committed to creating that knowledge base. We must strengthen compassion and equity in our own community and prepare our students to become positive agents of change in our nation and the world. As we look ahead to a new academic year, let’s work together to create new programs and platforms to honestly address society’s problems both individually and collectively. Let’s channel our frustrations and pain into deep, empathic dialogue that roots out hate and enables us to stand up for each other in the spirit of equality, caring and compassion.

The real work is ahead of us. As a college community, we must strive to examine our practices, listen to those who have experienced injustice, and create better understanding between members of our community. For today, let’s reach out to each other with kindness and grace, treat each other with dignity, and recommit to doing our part in the quest for a more just and equitable society.

Deneece

Deneece G. Huftalin, PhD
President