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University tells students to report ‘incidents of discomfort’ to campus police

The University of Portland has launched a “Speak Up” webpage that encourages students to report “incidents of discomfort” to its Public Safety department.

“We ask members of our community to SPEAK UP and report alleged incidents of discrimination and incidents of discomfort regarding observed or experienced interactions of intolerance,” the university states on the webpage.

The top resource listed under “Reporting Options” is the university’s Public Safety department, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and includes a director, two sergeants and nine public safety officers, the department reports.

Below that, the Title IX, student conduct and human resources departments are listed as additional reporting options.

“The University of Portland takes seriously its responsibility to provide an inclusive environment for all UniversityPortlandSpeakUpmembers of our community,” said Rachel Barry-Arquit in an email to The College Fix. Barry-Arquit is the university’s director of marketing and communication.

The Beacon campus newspaper reports Speak Up was created at a time when “students of color feel isolated on campus” through the widespread use of microaggressions on campus.

“The creation of this web-page reflects our desire to create a welcoming community for everyone. Campus safety is simply one of the many resources available and would be up to the discretion of the individual as to whether public safety needed to be involved,” Barry-Arquit said in her email.

“The words ‘incidents of discomfort’ are intentionally broad as each person within the community would likely describe a different situation or experience that would define that description,” Barry-Arquit said.

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The University of Portland is a top-ranked, private catholic college that enrolls about 5,000 students, according to the university’s website.

“[W]e strive to promote a safe environment where all people can live, work, and learn,” campus leaders state on the university website. “We ask all of our students, faculty, and staff for a willingness to enter into conversations that celebrate the backgrounds of all people and foster an inclusive community.”

According to The Beacon campus newspaper, the diversity and inclusion’s Speak Up webpage was launched last month.

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About the Author
Michael McGrady --University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.