UA's VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion talks tackling racism on campus

UA's VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion talks tackling racism on campus

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - For the first time since she started her job, the University of Alabama's Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Dr. G. Christine Taylor, explaining her plan to tackle racism on campus.

A total of 15 listening sessions, where students expressed their concerns were offered at UA in the fall.

This Spring, the VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, has a few more initiatives she wants to roll out, where students can have a say.

Upset students protested after voicing their discomfort with incidents involving a fraternity member saying online they'd like to a hang an N word from a tree.

Or the most recent incident where a former student went viral for saying the N word on Instagram.

Both were hurtful acts that continue to plague the University.

"We can't ever get away from these events I wish that we could. We're talking about culture shift which takes time," said Taylor.

Dr. Taylor is exploring the idea of having new students take some sort of course educating them on inclusion.

"What can we do to make this a campus where everyone feels that they can thrive and not merely survive," said Taylor.

She's also forming a student diversity council that she will regularly communicate and work with.

"It's about who's sitting at the table," said Taylor.

Taylor's hopeful having a well-rounded group of people helping with projects and giving input will be more effective.

Some students said they want more specifics on consequences and accountability when incidents are reported.

"It's very vague on if you do this act then this will happen to you," said Alexus Porter, student activist.

Taylor is optimistic about coming up with a more proactive approach that will break the cycle of hate.

"Having a respect for differences and recognizing different is not deficient," said Taylor.

Currently Taylor is working to create a centralized place on her website where students and staff can report bias and hateful incidents specifically.

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.