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WSU unveils new Campus Climate Response Team

Students voice their concerns about hate crimes on campus.

Weber State University administration recently announced the creation of a new Campus Climate Response Team. While this idea has been in the works for about a year, the team is finally being rolled out in the aftermath of multiple incidents of hateful vandalism on campus.

“With increased incidents on campus, there was certainly a sense of urgency,” Jessica Oyler, vice president of Student Access and Success, said.

The team will be composed of WSU faculty and students, instead of being its own position.

“We want to have representation from faculty, staff and students on that group, [and] pull in folks that have expertise in climate and belonging on campuses,” Oyler said.

The Climate Response Team would be responsible for communicating with students regarding incidents on campus as well as looking for ways to improve campus climate in general.

According to Oyler, the team will discuss how the university would respond when incidents on campus occur, and how on-campus administration is being trained. Oyler said the team will focus on how to balance the need for free speech on campus with the student code and the comfort and safety of all students.

“One of the things that we’re doing on our campus is ensuring that we keep any sort of disciplinary process separate from the campus climate team,” Oyler said. “So it was really looking at where’s the gap of where we can do some things better and having that ongoing conversation is really what we settled on.”

After the recent acts of vandalism and the dissent from students that ensued, Oyler said this new committee can help everyone at Weber State feel comfortable on campus.

“What it comes down to with our campus climate teams is we want to be able to foster a sense of belonging for our staff, faculty and students,” Oyler said.

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McKinna Baird, News reporter

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