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

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. 

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