"Sorry but I don't think it's a big deal"

What was the incident? On September 16, a visiting artist spoke with two students of color who explained that they were hoping to connect with other non-white students on campus. The three of them subsequently wrote down the names of other students of color who might wish to connect and discuss their shared struggles. They left this list of names on a classroom’s whiteboard; the next class saw it and thought that non-white students had been singled out for some nefarious purpose. A protest was planned.

The diversity committee investigated—and swiftly cleared up—the matter. “We believe it is important to inform the student body that the intent behind the list was as a resource for new students who are looking to be in community with other BIPOC students,” wrote the committee in an email to campus.

Nevertheless, the committee opined that students’ hurt feelings were completely valid.

“This in no way undermines the feelings that any of you feel about this incident,” the email continued. “It should have never happened and the DEI committee will be discussing with faculty and students the gravity of the situation and how to handle these requests in the future.”

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