A message from Dr. Turner

DALLAS (SMU) – Vivid reports from our SMU Asian community of faculty, students, and staff – many shared during a campus vigil last Friday – reveal that the foul rhetoric and mindset behind the accelerated violence and hatred experienced nationwide by people of Asian and Pacific Islander cultures have also reached the Hilltop.

Chief Diversity Officer Maria Dixon Hall and I recently met with faculty colleagues from the SMU Association of Asian and Pacific American Scholars to discuss their concerns about harassment and hostility directed against members of the Asian community. We agree that there is much work we can and should do together to improve the campus experience for the Asian community’s students, faculty and staff, and we will share more information about these plans in the future.

Your University is committed to fully developing a campus climate based upon diversity, equity, and inclusion for all members of the SMU community and University leaders have been working to achieve significant steps toward this goal. 

Meanwhile, let me be clear: At SMU we will not tolerate a hostile environment for our Asian community that makes a morning walk or a study session in the library a source of fear or anxiety. We are a community of Mustangs and we will take care of each other. Anyone witnessing or experiencing such acts of harassment or hostility is encouraged to contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-3333 and/or file a report with the Bias Education and Response Team (BERT).

The SMU Student Senate is to be commended for the unanimous proclamation recently issued in support of the Asian community and in opposition to bigotry and xenophobia. As Mustangs, we are all committed to removing all traces of racism and injustice. We will move forward together.

R. Gerald Turner

This message was shared with the SMU community March 22, 2021.