Community Update

November 18, 2015

A message from Lisa Smith-McQueenie, Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion

Dear Simmons Community,

As you may know, we have been engaging in important conversations about race, culture and community on our campus. I want to share with you the recent events around these issues in an effort to keep all members of the community informed.

  • In light of current events that have heightened racial tensions across the country, particularly on the campus of the University of Missouri, we held a community meeting on Monday afternoon to engage in a critical conversation on issues of respect, empathy, and inclusion at Simmons. During this packed gathering, numerous members of the Simmons community courageously shared their personal experiences and brought concerns about our campus climate to the attention of those in attendance.
  • The following day, Tuesday, approximately 200 members of the Simmons community held a peaceful demonstration in Common Grounds where they presented President Drinan and Provost Conboy with a list of demands. President Drinan and Provost Conboy spoke with the group at length, and they will be meeting with representatives on Thursday evening to keep the conversation going. 
  • Later on Tuesday afternoon, some negative and upsetting images related to the Simmons demonstration were found on social media. Public Safety decided to err on the side of caution and locked the exterior doors of the buildings on the residential and main campuses at 6:00 pm. Only those with Simmons IDs could access our buildings after 6:00 pm. 
  • The safety and security of our community is our highest priority. Please be certain when sharing information via social media on specific Simmons activities that you are not sharing names or information of others without their consent, due to the lack of privacy online. If you receive any digital messages that are disturbing to you, we ask that you save a screenshot and record the date and time. There is a "report" function on social media platforms that can then be used. Guidelines can be found here for reporting abusive behavior on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. If you ever feel threatened on our campus, we urge you to contact the Office of Public Safety immediately by calling 617-521-1112.

We are eager to continue our work together to ensure that our institution is a safe and welcoming learning environment for everyone who lives, studies and works at Simmons. 

We will continue to keep you informed about our progress on these issues.

Sincerely,

Lisa Smith-McQueenie
Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion