Today's Update: Thursday, April 2

April 2, 2020

Dear Student Life Team: 

Yesterday I talked about the little things that matter. Today I want to talk about the “big” things. Right now, it feels like there is nothing bigger than the COVID pandemic. But as we fight the virus, I also want to remind us that we shouldn’t be fighting each other. It’s more important than ever that we stand up to issues of bias and uninformed opinions.  

Throughout history, fear of disease and acts of bias have gone hand in hand. We saw it with epidemics such as HIV, Ebola and MERS, and it is now it has been the case with COVID-19. News reports have documented instances of stereotyping, harassment and bullying directed at people perceived to be of Asian descent following the spread of the new coronavirus. 

Our Buckeye family extends beyond the confines of our campus. As Dr. Drake said in his email last week, it is vital for us to sustain the sense of inclusion and support that has been key to our community. There are things that we can all do to continue to support these shared values. 

Use your voice: We all have a responsibility to correct stigmatizing language and to empower ourselves, friends and loved ones to seek out facts, and share those with others. If you experience or witness acts of bias that impact anyone in our Ohio State community, report it.  

Be an example: Actively check in on one another. Reach out to your friends who might be feeling alienated or targeted. Talk about the ways you are practicing self-care.  

Be the change: Knowledge about ourselves and understanding more about people who have a different race, ethnicity or background from our own helps to increase our capacity for empathy and inclusion. Get involved in efforts to build community and engage in social justice education. Check out virtual programs from the Student Life Multicultural Center Their programs are open to staff.  

To our APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) community (students, faculty and staff) and anyone else who is coping with acts of exclusion, I say this: Unequivocally, we stand against bias and we will do whatever we can to support you. And, this is yet another way we all continue to be Scarlet and Great!