Letter to the Editor: A Reaction to the Anti-DAC Flyers
I am the Manager of the Diversity Achievement Center (DAC). I supervise Toni Klohk. Toni does an excellent job at exposing students to new ideas. Exposure to new ideas is an important concept in college. The DAC also hosts events sponsored by student clubs and organizations. Those events often raise new ideas to ponder. The fact that the college hosts an event or topic never implies which points of view we subscribe to; we subscribe to free exchange of ideas in a civil and safe environment.
The posters were posted without regard to LBCC posting policies. Per those policies, they were removed. The poster also gave the false impression that the DAC was sponsoring an event that it is not; the posters were in fact a lie and slanderous. LBCC has a policy of honesty and respect at all times toward all persons. (It is also my job to enforce that policy; as Associate Dean of Student Services, I enforce the LBCC code of conduct available at www.linnbenton.edu.)
For many people diversity and culture awareness are not easy topics. When LBCC is doing a good job at encouraging people to think beyond their own cultural assumptions and exposing people to ideas beyond those they have adopted, people will be stretched, challenged, even agitated. It sometimes takes this for us to grow. Toni and the DAC are obviously challenging some people to grow.
It takes courage to do the work of the DAC. It takes courage to listen to ideas with which some of us disagree. It does not take courage to attack people who are doing important work. The person who posted these posters gave witness last week that many of us still have much to learn about respecting people with values and lifestyles unlike our own. The person also gave witness that he or she struggles with “opening his or her mind to listen to ideas of others.” When the person put those posters up, it was like he or she voted to endorse the DAC. By his/her action, he/she said, “Let me prove that we need to learn about how to respect one another.”
LBCC is proud of the work of the DAC and the leadership of Toni Klohk. Toni and her team change lives for the better every day they come to work. Neither Toni nor LBCC will be intimidated by hate speech. We will continue to encourage and support the work the DAC is doing for all students at LBCC. We hope every student will feel safe on our campus, and we will continue to provide forums for sharing diverse views, values, and lifestyles. We hope college students develop critical thinking and the ability to listen to others, followed up with the ability to make wise choices for one’s self.
Students who participated in our College Readiness Workshops Summer 2010 (CRW) know that LBCC encourages civil discourse. We encourage the engaging of one another around controversial topics in civil and respectful ways. We encourage free speech when offered within the guidelines the college provides.
LBCC also has a duty to prevent harassment, bullying, and hate speech. We take that duty seriously.
The posting matter will be handled by Security and my office, if the person is identified. If someone witnessed who posted the flyers they are asked to report it to my office, Lynne Cox, Takena 107.
Posting Policies available at Board of Education Administrative Rules (Paperless Office)
Thank you for making inquiry! Toni and her team have my full support. They are doing a great job, every day.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
Lynne A. Cox, J.D., Associate Dean of Student Development