As a part of the new Title IX rules, students are now able to report incidents of racial harassment.
Taylor administration is taking a more tangible approach to racial harassment issues this year following the national racial reckoning this year and the conversations that followed.
As a result, a new online mechanism is available to report racial concerns at taylor.edu/makeareport.
In making a report, students have the option to remain anonymous or include their names.
“Racial injustice does not just affect people of color; it affects the entirety of Taylor University students,” sophomore Josue Villalobos, co-president of Taylor’s Latino student union, said.
Racism has not just become a concern on campus. Before the recent national racial reckoning, racism was a part of the Taylor experience.
“Certainly there was absolutely racism happening,” said Greg Dyson, vice president for intercultural leadership and church relations. “It is happening everywhere. It would be naive for us to think it wasn’t.”
Villalobos added that many of his friends have experienced acts of racism while at Taylor.
According to Dyson, there are three categories of incidents: racism, ignorance and misunderstandings.
The Taylor administration took a more abstract approach to these incidents in prior years.
“When something was ignorance, we would seek to educate it,” Dyson said. “When something was racism we would seek to eradicate it.”
In light of the events this year, Taylor is taking a more concrete approach to eradicating racism.
When George Floyd was murdered, Dyson remembers asking himself, “How am I supposed to just go about my day? I have to make tangible change.”
While this new reporting feature was already in the works, recent events fueled the desire to continue working on the change.
“We have to unlearn this idea that just because life is going on for others, we have to go on,” Dyson said. “There are moments that we have to take appropriate pauses and actions. We have to flip the script.”
This Title IX reporting feature gives the option of flipping the script on campus.
Part of shifting the narrative is believing people and their experience.
“When someone tells you that something racially bad is happening to them, it is really important that you believe them… We wanted to implement this same belief on campus through the new racial injustice report feature,” Dyson said.
This new feature allows students to report racial and sexual harassment concerns and incidents through their MyTaylor portal.
Students can leave their name and a description of the incident, then choose whether or not they wish to be contacted by Dyson or Dean of Students Jesse Brown. The page also provides additional resources while reporters wait to hear back.
“I am excited to know there is a tangible way that racist experiences can be reported here,” Villalobos said.
The new change is an amplification of the policy laid out in the Life Together Covenant (LTC). Having the option of reporting harassment issues gives Taylor an instrument to put what is said in the LTC, specifically the multicultural portion, into practice.
When using this tool, the goal is to teach others and keep track of the incidents occurring on Taylor’s campus.
“When someone says something racially offensive, and we tell them it isn’t OK, we have to tell them why it is not OK,” Dyson said. “Being a teacher is part of how we make a change.”
This same goal is consistent for all people involved in intercultural programs on Taylor’s campus.
Villalobos said that as a co-president of the Latino Student Union, their goal is to bring more awareness of what it means to have a Latino background. He is certain that this tool will have a positive effect.
Dyson thanked faculty Paige Cunningham, Scott Barrett, Julia Hurlow, Jesse Brown, and seniors Emmanuel Terrell and Anna Craig who have championed making this change.
Junior Hailey Chang, co-president of the Asian Society for Intercultural Awareness, agreed.
“We would like to simply applaud and encourage everyone to keep the open-mindedness on this campus,” Chang said.