Greetings colleagues and students:
Eight people were recently murdered, most of whom were women. Six of them were targeted because they were Asian or Asian American. This sad incident did not happen in a vacuum; it is a reflection of the rise of nationalism and xenophobia fueled by dangerous rhetoric for the last few years and, as President Leebron said, by deliberate use of terms such as “the China virus.”
We have many Asian members of our School, and we are much better off for it. The diversity of our community enriches our lives, makes us better people and drives our curiosity and excellence. We stand in solidarity with the Asian members of our School and pledge to continue to provide an environment that embraces and values the contributions of each and every member of our community.
With the continued violence and hatred we are witnessing toward Asian, Black, LGBTQ+ and other communities, we want to make sure resources are available to support those who are impacted and to educate those of us who are bystanders so that we can actively work to stop harassment and discrimination when it occurs, while seeking to prevent it. Our aim is to ensure that our Rice Engineering ecosystem is a place where everyone is physically, mentally, and emotionally safe and where everyone can thrive.
In light of the horrific incident earlier this week, we share the following resources to help as we navigate these very difficult and disturbing times. The following are seminars offered by Hollaback, an entity external to Rice whose resources some of our community members have found helpful.
March 19 @ 3:00 p.m. CDT: How to Respond to Anti-Asian/American Harassment when it Happens to You
March 29, 2:00 p.m. CDT: Bystander Intervention to Stop Anti-Asian and Xenophobic Harassment
Other anti-racist resources are available on the School of Engineering’s website. The Chao Center for Asian Studies is another place on campus where you can find a wealth of information and support.
Students, please reach out to the Wellbeing and Counseling Center (713-348-3311) if you need to speak with someone about your wellbeing and mental health concerns. If you experience any incidents of bias or discrimination, please report them via our Bias Report Form. And if you experience gender-based discrimination or sexual harassment, please report it to our Title IX Office.
If you need immediate assistance, call RUPD/REMS at 713-348-6000 (24/7).
The School of Engineering’s Committee of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has developed a Code of Conduct that is currently under review by several people representing a wide range of stakeholder identities. It is critically important that we communicate the values we espouse, along with expectations and accountability. We will be meeting with campus leaders in the coming days to further strategize about actions we can take to support our community. We will follow up with details as they become available.
William and Stephanie Sick Dean
Professor of Computer Science
Yvette E. Pearson
Associate Dean for Accreditation, Assessment and Strategic Initiatives