Message from Winston Crisp and Varun Soni

June 30, 2020

Dear Students,

President Folt just sent a message to our community pledging to do everything in her power to put an end to anti-Black and systemic racism at USC. We wholeheartedly support her efforts to create real, lasting change, and we vow to do the important work that must be done to move this University forward and ensure the disturbing experiences like those posted on the Black at USC Instagram account come to a stop.

Over the last several days, we have also witnessed a distressing increase in behavior that goes well beyond legitimate expressions of discourse and opinion, and includes instances of online bullying, trolling, and harassment targeted towards individual students based upon race, religion, and sexual orientation. As a university community, we are deeply disturbed and disheartened by these online postings that demean and denigrate our students. We explicitly condemn racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-LGBTQ discrimination, and other forms of bigotry and intolerance, and we affirm the inherent dignity of everyone on our campuses.

As a community that is striving to move forward to make USC a place where all can thrive without being subjected to harassment, bigotry, and other barriers to achievement and success, we expect that all will honor and abide by the aspirations of our Principles of Community.

As one of the most diverse universities in the world, we will inevitably experience deep disagreements over fundamental issues. However, as a university community, we have the unique opportunity to engage and thoroughly examine the roots of these disagreements with civility and respect, and to denounce and delegitimize hate and prejudice wherever we encounter it.

Over the last several months, it has been so inspiring to see students lead on racial justice across the country and around the world by transforming culture and consciousness. At this seminal moment, we now all have the responsibility to reflect upon our own roles in perpetuating discriminatory practices, policies, and perspectives, and to rededicate ourselves to be the change we want to see in the world. We can only move forward together if we all lead with care, compassion, and courage. This is more important now than ever.

If you have experienced bias or discrimination on campus or online, please report the incident here. If you are concerned about others who have been negatively impacted by bias or discrimination, please let us know through Trojans Care 4 Trojans so we can reach out with support.

Sincerely,

Winston B. Crisp
Vice President for Student Affairs

Varun Soni
Vice Provost for Campus Wellness and and Crisis Intervention
Dean of Religious Life