Task force will examine policies related to tolerance

The University has appointed a task force to review policies, procedures, and practices related to the prevention of, and response to, hate crimes and other incidents of prejudice that may occur on campus. The goal is to better ensure a campus climate of tolerance and acceptance.

Jim Antes, professor of psychology, will chair the 17-member group, which is made up of students, faculty, and staff from across campus, as well as community representatives.

UND Provost Greg Weisenstein, who spearheaded the group’s formation along with Vice President for Student and Outreach Services Robert Boyd and Vice President for Finance and Operations Bob Gallager, said they believe proper procedures were followed in responding to instances of swastikas found on campus, but that the University always needs to review its actions and seek ways to continue to improve its performance. Organization of the task force began while Charles Kupchella was president, with his support and that of President Bob Kelley.

Weisenstein said he has asked the group to thoroughly review current policies, procedures, and practices, and then recommend any changes to reinforce UND’s commitment to a prejudice-free environment.

He said he also expects the group to develop guidelines for a “rapid response” team that can more quickly deal with incidents, protect those subjected to hate crimes or other intimidation, and serve as an advisory body to the president, provost, and others. Weisenstein said he looks forward to seeing the group’s recommendations, hopefully in the early part of fall semester.