Over the past few years–and especially in the past few months–there have been numerous incidents at the University Apartment South (UAS) that have corroded the feeling that all Bruins fully belong to our community.
There have been reports of apartment guests spouting racial epithets and a broad sentiment that the official University response was inadequate. This is a problem of “under-enforcement” of our community norms and values.
There have also been serious allegations of racial profiling, where race is used as a marker to challenge whether a Black resident lives in the community or is adhering to housing regulations that are enforced unevenly by staff or fellow residents. This is a problem of “over-enforcement,” a local manifestation of a national problem regularly caught on viral videos.
Senior leadership is now fully aware of the problems, and we are committed to doing better. After the town hall hosted on October 8, 2018, senior Residential Life leadership sent a letter to the community that committed to community engagement and implementing change. During implementation of these items, Senior Leadership (including Vice Chancellors Monroe Gorden, Michael Beck, and Jerry Kang) have continued to learn more about community concerns and how best to respond.
We’re trying to be nimble, and we now see our commitments falling into five broad domains:
To avoid getting lost in the weeds, we haven’t included every little thing we’ve done. Also, we’re only listing actions directly responsive to the racial incidents and not other actions, such as a housing walk-through by maintenance that proudced touchups and improvements.
Here are our key commitments and the progress made so far.
original post date: 2018 12 20
(last updated: 2019 04 04 | Thurs 02:38 PM)
➡ UPDATE: 2018.10.05 incident:
Concluded investigation of incident involving highlighted letters posted on the apartment doors of two Black families. The letter, which was a communication sent in 2017 from University Housing to all residents, was reprinted by unknown individual(s) who highlighted a section of the letter regarding the expectations that children under the age of 13 must be supervised at all times. A review of video footage of the area and requests for any eye-witness accounts did not provide any information in identifying a party responsible for posting the letters. Consultation with the Office of Student Conduct and Legal Affairs was sought during the review.
➡ UPDATE: 2018.09.14 incident:
Concluded investigation of incident involving an unattended guest yelling anti-Black, racist, and sexist comments. Two residents hearing this called UCPD to respond. The incident was adjudicated in accordance with University Apartments conduct process, behavior expectations were reinforced and sanctions assigned to the hosting tenant. Please see the University review of this incident.
➡ Commitment: Send clear messages reflecting our values from senior leadership.
- 2018.12.05: Sent Chancellor Message to all of UCLA (Protecting our Community from Bias)
- 2018.11.16: Sent Vice Chancellors Letter to UV Apartments Community | news brief | letter
- 2018.10.17: Sent Senior Residential Life Leadership Letter (UA South Community Letter and Action Plan)
➡ Commitment: Provide more useful and timely information to residents re racial incidents.
- 2018.12.05: Sent Timely Notification to UAS Community (re same event as in Chancellor’s message)
- 2018.12.04: Installed brochure rack maintained by Residential Life with information on Ombuds, Veterans Resource Center, Bruin Resource Center, Student Legal Services, ECRT, Financial Wellness, Center for Accessible Education, RISE, Title IX, and CAPS
➡ Commitment: Provide less communication that exacerbates the “over-enforcement” problem.
- 2019.04.02: UAS Residential Life Community webpage updated to include Apartment Coordinator team members and calendar of events occurring in University Village.
- 2019.01.11: Launched revised Clery Timely Warning UA email template which is sent to all UA residents, who have provided emails to Housing Services. The template provides links to the UCPD website where the crime alert is posted, additional information about the Jeanne Clery Act, and an opportunity to sign up to receive future Clery notices immediately.
- 2018.12.12: Paused indefinitely administrative practice of posting notices about strollers, window signs, and open garages.
- 2018.10.29: Stopped posting UCPD Clery Timely Warnings at each building entrance and post them instead only at main entrances and provide via email to community members.
➡ Commitment: Train staff connected to UAS better.
- 2019.02.08: Confirmed Residential Life administrative team members serving University Apartments have completed the University Office of the President (UCOP) 6 course online module on implicit bias.
- 2019.01.31: Introduced all employees from Student Affairs and from all departments under the Vice Chancellor for Administration to the problems of implicit bias and racial profiling through the 3-video training
- 2019.01.25: Residential Life and Housing staff serving University Apartments South attended Transformational Relationships-Moving from Fear towards Understanding, an 8-hour, experiential workshop exploring the various ways in which oppression, privilege, and healing impact our work.
- 2019.01.18: Residential Life and Housing staff serving University Apartments South attended the workshop called “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People” presentation by Harvard professor Mahzarin R. Banaji.
- 2019.01.03: Office of Residential Life and Housing and Hospitality Services staff who serve University Apartments South participated in a day-long experiential training on the issues pertinent to a number of different social justice non-profit organizations doing anti-racist work in Los Angeles.
- 2018.12.31: Introduced all Housing & Hospitality Services professional team members to the problem of implicit bias and racial profiling through the 3-video training
- 2018.12: Introduced all University Apartment Administrative and Residential Life professional team members serving University Apartments through video trainings to the problems of implicit bias and racial profiling:
- VC Jerry Kang, Implicit Bias at TedxSanDiego 2013 (TedX talk on implicit bias)
- NextDoor, Recognizing Unconscious Bias video (interviews unpacking the racial profiling experience)
- NextDoor, Preventing Racial profiling video (animation providing real world suggestions)
- 2018.12.04: Trained all Residential Life team members serving University Apartments through additional video trainings and encouraged attending:
- City of Edmonton, Gender-Based Analysis+ video: What is it and Why? video
- BruinX (EDI) Workshop: Inclusion as a Personal Practice
- 2018.06.30: Confirmed that all Housing & Hospitality managers and supervisors employed as of June 2018 have completed the University Office of the President 6 course online module on implicit bias.
- 2019: Develop better and more context-sensitive training in consultation with faculty experts, including Prof. Bryonn Bain and Prof. Tyrone Howard. Initial meetings have already taken place.
3. Policy and Practice
➡ Commitment: Create clear and consistent policies that govern UAS, including policies that hold non-affiliates more accountable.
- 2019.04.09: The Graduate and Family Housing Survey launched and includes the following question, for UAS residents: “In our annual review of policies, what needs or concerns do you have that are not currently addressed by our University Apartments Housing Regulations? This survey is sent to each resident, over 18 with an email on file. Survey open April 9-30, 2019.
- 2019.03.18: Annual review of the Housing Regulations began, including requests sent to staff and resident’s association to provide recommendations for UA Housing Regulation edits or updates. Recommendations are due April 30, 2019.
- 2019.01.29: PPTF members provided with spreadsheet to collect input and edit recommendations to ensure the Black and Brown voices are reflected in the UA Housing Regulations. Input and recommendations are due April 30, 2019.
- 2019.01.07: University Village (UV) Policies and Procedures Task Force (PPTF) met and revised the charge for this group, as identified in the October 16, 2018 letter
- PPTF will be moving forward under this new mission and will provide recommendations for improvements by the end of Winter 2019 Quarter.
- UV Policies and Procedures Task Force Mission: (Revised January 7, 2019): To respond to accounts of anti-Blackness through inconsistent enforcement of rules and regulations experienced by Black and Brown members of the community, this task force will review the impact, effectiveness of policies, over policing, and racial violence that has occurred in the community. The task force will work from a social justice paradigm and determine whether Black and Brown voices are reflected in our policies.
- The PPTF meets every in the UV Administration Office Conference Room (3200 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066). Should any UV residents like to join this task force, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2018.12.17: Revised UA Housing Conduct Process – Sanctions to be consistent with UCLA Student Conduct Code
- 2018.12.17: Revised UA Housing Regulation A.3 (Threatening Behavior) to be consistent with UCLA Student Conduct Code
- 2018.12.12: Launched UAS Task Force to Review Policies and Procedures
- 2018.12.05: Removed UA Resident Handbook from Housing Website because of its inconsistencies with Rules and Regulations for Residents.
- Communicate behavioral norms to non-affiliates, i.e. guests and non-residents, more effectively (e.g., through signage).
- Revise UA Resident Handbook (to remove technical rules and focus instead on helping community members thrive)
- Revise further policies and procedures, as appropriate
➡ Commitment: Change reporting lines to align better community needs and unit expertise.
- 2018.12.19: Moved Apartment Coordinator (AC) reporting from University Apartment Administration to Residential Life.
- Revise AC job descriptions to focus more on community engagement and support.
- Increase staffing at UAS.
5. Direct Engagement
➡ Commitment: Provide direct responses to individual within the UAS community that have experienced bias.
- 2019.05.08: Residents invited to attend UCLA’s Annual Black and Blue Mental Health Fair:
- 4-7PM in Sunset Village – Mental Health Awareness Fair
- 7:30-9PM in Northwest Campus Auditorium – Speak Your Truth: Advocacy through Storytelling
- 2019.04.01: Black Mental Health Matters series updated 05.08 session cancelled and two (2) sessions added 05.22 and 05.29 at 6PM in UV Community Center.
- 2019.01.30: Black Mental Health Matters, a series of six (6) informational, healing and supportive workshops open to Black residents, their partners, and their family members for building community, wellness, and change at University Apartments.
- Dates: 01.30, 02.13, 02.27, 04.10, 04.24 at 6PM in UV Community Center.
- 2019.01.30: “UV Mingle”, a series of monthly opportunities for UV community members (students, partners, dependents, care givers, staff, etc.) to come together and build relationships with each other and learn about available resources. Dates: 01.30, 02.20, 03.20, 04.25, 05.16 at 10 AM in Sawtelle basketball court.
- 2019.01.26: University Village Potluck Lunch, an event for community members to interact, share food and learn about campus resources. Over 200 residents attended. This event also highlighted the resources available to University Village residents through the Bruin Resource Center, and specifically, the Students with Dependents program.
- 2018.12: Held multiple one-to-one meetings with Resident families who have experienced bias within the community with Senior Leaders from Residential Life and Student Affairs.
- 2018.12: Held multiple meetings with the Discrimination Prevention Office, the Staff Diversity & Compliance Office, and others, to provide guidance on individualized inquiries and complaints (due to privacy laws and to protect the integrity of any investigation, we cannot provide much detail).
- 2018.10.19: Counseling & Psychological Services and Residential Life hosted a community dialogue to start the discussion on healing the community and self-care.
➡ Commitment: Provide community access to Senior Leadership so that their concerns are heard.
- 2019.03.13: Held Community Forum with Vice Chancellor Jerry Kang and Dean of Students, Maria Blandizzi.
- 2018.11.09: Held town hall with three Vice Chancellors (Student Affairs; Administration; and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion).
- 2018.12.19: Three Vice Chancellors met with Afrikan Student Union, Black Graduate Student Association, UAS community members, and Black Alumni Association representatives to discuss next steps.