A University of Wisconsin official shared an emotional response to the most recent hate incident on campus, calling for the hatred to stop.
Patrick Sims, vice provost for diversity and climate at UW, posted a nine-minute long YouTube video bashing a threatening letter placed under the door of a UW student Thursday, referring to it as a “cowardly act” and “unacceptable.”
“I want to say ‘punkass,’ but I guess vice provost is not supposed to say that,” Sims said in the video. “But that’s what it is. This is not the UW that I agreed to teach at. This is not the forward-thinking institution that I thought it was.”
Sims said he is tired of the string of hate and bias messages he has seen insulting UW minority students recently. He encouraged students to speak up when they see such incidents and not let these incidents define the institution.
Although there is no guarantee that similar incidents won’t happen in the future, Sims said, the university is behind those on the receiving end of this negativity.
“Don’t let this kill your spirit,” Sims said. “You need to recognize that there is power in you; there’s power in those who are here to support you and care for you. We have your back.”
UW is working very hard to address these problems, Sims said, and people in the campus community can hold school officials like him accountable.
Meanwhile, everyone on campus has the power and responsibility to create a more inclusive environment that is sustainable, Sims said.
“You need to be part of the solution, whether you want it or not,” Sims said.