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Office of Access and Opportunity

Some Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Considerations During Covid-19

It goes without saying these are challenging times. The uncertainty combined with social isolation has many of us feeling stressed and longing for normalcy. It is difficult to focus. The challenges of juggling remote working and learning with life’s many (and often new) responsibilities are real. It remains important to find solidarity with each other in these trying times.

The work of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of South Carolina is more important than ever. We stand in solidarity with our students, friends, and colleagues of Asian descent as racist incidents and threats of hate crimes against Asians have emerged across the United States. We are deeply concerned about rising xenophobia and sinophobia aimed at the Asian community in this country and abroad over the COVID-19 virus. We condemn attacks and stereotyping on social media and pledge to help ensure that individuals of Asian descent in our community feel safe and supported. We encourage each of you to hold fast to the Carolinian Creed by respecting the dignity of all persons and rejecting bigotry.

Let us commit to ensuring web accessibility for students with disabilities. Resources are available for students and faculty through the Student Disability Resource Center, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and the Keep Teaching website. See this short webinar for more tips.

As we move to remote learning and working environments, let us strive to uphold the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all online interactions. Ensure that web meetings are inclusive of all. Take measures to prevent unauthorized access to meetings and class sessions which might result in uninvited individuals using vile and racist language.

The economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis is sweeping. A disruption for some can be devastation for others. Seasonal, contractual, part-time, and student employees, who are so vital to the normal operations of our campus, have been hit disproportionately hard. Let us support them as opportunities arise.

Remember to take care of yourself. Maintain routines of self-care even as you shift to a virtual platform. Find ways to socialize virtually and create spaces where others can remain connected to the college/school/department. Hold space for students to socialize in class recognizing this may be one of the few times in their day when they can be with others.

Everyone is juggling a new reality with different demands. As we give ourselves permission to relax and breathe, so too ought we give others permission to relax and breathe. To us all, adjust expectations. Keep focused on what’s important and let go of other things. Be patient, be kind, be forgiving, be respectful, be flexible, be supportive…be a Gamecock!

To report incidents of bias or hate, submit a Bias and Hate Incident Form


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