Since receiving the list of suggestions and recommendations put forth in “In Support of Black Students,” members of the Loyola community, including students, administrators, faculty, and staff, have engaged in numerous meetings and conversations throughout the summer of 2020, which will continue into the school year. We were grateful to engage in direct dialogue with the representative student leaders serving as members of our working group, including Co-Presidents of the Black Cultural Center (BCC), Connor Elmore and Elise Purnsley; President of the Black Graduate Student Alliance (BGSA), LaShaunda Reese; President of White Coats for Black Lives, Jessica Simpson; and Chief Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Officer of the Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC), Taylor Thomas. Through the Anti-Racism Initiative, these students have authored a collaborative portfolio, combining all student-authored documents related to supporting Black students.

A full report with progress details and next steps, recently issued by both the BCC and Loyola administrators, is available to view and download online. Read their Spring 2021 end-of-semester joint statement online. Below are highlights about the topics raised in “In Support of Black Students” document and the BCC and Co-Signators’ assessment of progress. We continue to meet with BCC leadership weekly, share additional updates as they become available, and when needed, do deeper dives on specific topics or areas of concern.

We recognize that our work has only begun and this update only touches on a small section of our broader vision. As we continue to move toward a brighter, more inclusive future, we thank our collaborators for their contributions and feedback.

Progress updates


Portfolio Recommendations:

(Updated 9/3/2020)

Review of Ethics Line

Portfolio Recommendation: Review of Ethics Line

BCC & Co-Signatories Status Report: In Progress

Campus Communication:
Executive Director for Equity and Compliance Tim Love and Associate Dean of Students Lester Manzano met with representative students on August 6 to offer clarification and updates about how reports and complaints should be submitted to the University through Maxient™ and the University’s protocol for response. They also reviewed recent data from EthicsLine and Maxient™ and collaboratively explored ways to enhance and/or expand communications to build trust and assure our students of the University’s commitment and diligence in this important area. This meeting was very productive, and we remain committed to expanding communication efforts and remaining in dialogue with students throughout the academic year.

BCC & Co-Signatories Organizational Updates:
The data provided from this aforementioned meeting demonstrates a need to amplify the EthicsLine reporting process, as well as, clearly outline protocols for students seeking resolution. Doing so could help interested students familiarize themselves with using the EthicsLine as aresource, and provide faculty officials a clearer foundation for future assessments on its success. Further, we find a need to better indicate similar campus resources through increased communications and outreach around Loyola’s Office of Equity & Compliance and amplification of their Official Reporting and Formal Complaint processes. In combining theseefforts with the progress regarding Point #7 on our list, Loyola University Chicago gets closer to addressing the underlying needs of this recommendation.

Next Steps:

  • Meet with Loyola’s Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution to work on better promoting the EthicsLine reporting process and its resolution protocols.
  • Meet with Loyola’s Office of Equity & Compliance to work on creating more outreach to students. We aim to: increase student awareness and communication, promote reporting and complaint processes, and outline resolution protocols.
  • Establish continued regular review of all related reporting procedures.

Investigation of Racial Bias Incident at SDMA Event

Portfolio Recommendation: Investigation of Racial Bias Incident at SDMA Event

BCC & Co-Signatories Status Report: Satisfied

Campus Communication:
Investigation of racial bias incident at SDMA Zoom event on June 5: As we shared previously, this unfortunate situation was immediately and thoroughly investigated by the Office of Equity and Compliance (OEC), Campus Safety, and federal and state law enforcement. For greater context, Loyola was sadly not the only one affected by this crime during this period of time. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) saw 200 separate reports of “Zoom-bombing” throughout the country. As for the incident at Loyola, unfortunately, after exhausting all available resources at our disposal, the University was unable to identify the individual(s) responsible and the investigation was suspended. The IP addresses of the individuals associated with the incident could not be linked to any current or former Loyola student or employee; accordingly, the University’s jurisdiction and ability to initiate discipline was limited. All evidence collected was also provided to Campus Safety, who facilitated a formal report of the incident to appropriate law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. Upon investigation conclusion, a summary of the steps taken, available support resources, and information about how to protect the security of future events was distributed to all relevant administrators. The OEC and other University resources remain available to support student organizations and others who are planning to host events that may be targeted for Zoom-bombings in the future, and information about preventing such incidents has been posted to the OEC website, here.

BCC & Co-Signatories Organizational Updates:
Organizational Updates : We acknowledge and stand with all action taken on this recommendation. Though it pains us to know that such racist actions were perpetrated in our shared Loyola community space, we are pleased to learn that the perpetrator is not believed to be anyone affiliated with Loyola. Thank you for your efforts.

Next Steps: Satisfied

Financial Compensation for Diversity Work

Portfolio Recommendation: Financial Compensation for Diversity Work

BCC & Co-Signatories Status Report: In Progress

Campus Communication: Loyola strives to provide its students with a transformative education. In many instances, we consider our students’ participation in various mission-oriented committees to be a part of this experience. We appreciate BCC for heightening our awareness about the emotional burden this participation potentially creates for our Black-identified students. While it is not possible to apply a university-wide policy, individual departments are encouraged to continue considering compensating students for their time, research, and work.

BCC & Co-Signatories Organizational Updates: Though the institution cannot “apply a university-wide policy,” we will keep advocating for thestart of initiatives within varying departments and with campus partners, so “encouragement”and “consideration” turn toward action and planning. In wake of Loyola’s recent indications tostand with Black students, we find that the work and change moving forward should also be donein collaboration with Black students. This collaboration should provide financial compensationfor Black students brought into any future efforts.

Next Steps:

  • Meet with the various campus partners who contacted B.C.C. in allyship with the Black student experience and our list of recommendations. We aim to discuss and outline potential departmental initiatives to increase compensation for diversity work on campus.

Institution of Black Congratulatory Celebration

Portfolio Recommendation: Institution of Black Congratulatory Celebration

BCC & Co-Signatories Status Report: Satisfied

Campus Communication: The DSD has identified permanent funding to support end-of-the-year congratulatory celebrations for affinity-based student organizations. Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (SDMA), with the support of Student Activities and Greek Affairs (SAGA), will develop the request for funds process and provide support to student organizations so planning efforts are successful. Guidelines and process for securing funding will be in place no later than the end of the Fall 2020 semester.

BCC & Co-Signatories Organizational Updates: As planning and logistics of this initiative transfold, we look forward to the start of a new legacyin campus tradition.

Next Steps:

  • Upon the release of guidelines, we aim to meet with relevant campus partners to plan for the Third Annual Black Congratulatory Celebration in 2021.
  • Discuss plans and logistics for future in person Black Congratulatory Celebrations.

Office of Black Student Success (Task Force in Interim)

Portfolio Recommendation: Office of Black Student Success (Task Force in Interim)

BCC & Co-Signatories Status Report: In Progress

Campus Communication: The DSD and Student Academic Services (SAS) areas are working to establish an office dedicated to Black Student Success. An organizational analysis and review is currently in progress, and suggestions for staffing and organizational models are currently under review by administration. We will provide an update on the status of re-organization at the October 7 meeting on the University’s Anti-Racism Initiative.

BCC & Co-Signatories Organizational Updates: We understand the completion of this initiative will take time and passionate efforts. As we have stated in closed door meetings, we seek to create a Black Student Experience Task Force in the interim, to carry out the goals and subpoints of the Office of Black Student Success before a physical home is designated. We seek to be heavily involved with the creation of the Black Student Experience Task Force, its facilitation, as well as, its inclusion of students outside of the Black Cultural Center executive board.

Next Steps:

  • Establish the Black Student Experience Task Force with students, faculty, staff, and administration.
  • Assess regular updates on the creation of this office, and set plans for the future.

Black Living Learning Community

Portfolio Recommendation: Black Living Learning Community

BCC & Co-Signatories Status Report: In Progress

Campus Communication: Residence Life intends to provide virtual learning communities to all of our Living Learning Communities, including the new My Brother’s Keeper. They have 15 Black men currently registered for this community. Residence Life is committed to further developing an additional Living Learning Community focused on the needs of Black students enrolled at Loyola and living on campus. Given the current COVID-19 impact on campus residence halls, we do not have a definitive timetable for the expansion of this program but hope to continue further discussions.

BCC & Co-Signatories Organizational Updates: We know that many students are missing their home away from home. With changes occurring within Loyola’s Department of Residence Life, we look to encourage discussions that willsolidify the start of Black focused Living Learning Communities in the coming future. As amission oriented institution, we know that our combined efforts will create necessary preparationto ensure a place of affinity for future Black-identified first-year students.As members of the B.C.C. Executive Board were slated to be resident assistants for the2020-2021 school year, one of which was to be the resident assistant for My Brother’s Keeper,we are well aware that COVID-19 has created challenges for the Department of Residence Life.We look forward to working further with the department to explore virtual solutions, as well as,progress on the additional Living Learning Community.

Next Steps:

  • Meet with leadership within the Department of Residence Life to further discuss planning and possible timelines for a Black Living Learning Community.

Zero Tolerance Policy

Portfolio Recommendation: Zero Tolerance Policy

BCC & Co-Signatories Status Report: In Progress

Campus Communication: While we wholeheartedly agree that it is imperative that the University maintain its strong prohibition against discrimination in all its forms, “zero-tolerance policies” as applied to racism and discrimination (or other behaviors) present several practical and philosophical challenges. However, in keeping with the University’s procedures for policy revision, such a request may still be presented to appropriate administrators for consideration and administrative review. Executive Director Tim Love and Associate Dean Lester Manzano offered during the August 6 meeting to continue dialogue with representative students to better understand the needs and interests that underlie this proposal (e.g., a desire for the University to be more explicit or firm with respect to prohibiting discrimination) and to explore potential action steps that advance those goals. Additionally, we acknowledge and support the approach, as described by the Provost and others in recent campus-wide communications, of moving Loyola beyond merely prohibiting racism (which the University absolutely does under the Comprehensive Policy and Community Standards) and towards becoming actively anti-racist.

BCC & Co-Signatories Organizational Updates: Thorough discussions during meetings throughout the summer have continued to shape this recommendation into a clearer plan of action. Not only do we commit to working with appropriate campus partners to outline a potential policy that meets the interests of this proposal, we also aim for it to be presented for “consideration and administrative review.” In combining these anti-racist efforts with the progress regarding Point #1 on our list, Loyola University Chicago gets closer to addressing the underlying needs of this recommendation.

Next Steps:

  • Research and discuss restorative justice policies on college and university campuses.
  • Meet with appropriate campus partners to outline a proposal for submission and review.

Mandatory Racial Bias Training

Portfolio Recommendation: Mandatory Racial Bias Training

BCC & Co-Signatories Status Report: Satisfied

Campus Communication: The DSD and SAS identified a training module for students focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, including racial bias. This training module, from a third-party vendor Everfi, offers other online training modules for our first-year seminar course (UNIV 101). This training has been embedded into the Fall 2020 UNIV 101 program and will soon be available for other programs (such as Greek Life) so that all students will have access.

BCC & Co-Signatories Organizational Updates: We appreciate the swift action taken in order for this training to take place for first-year students of the 2020-2021 Academic Year. B.C.C. looks forward to completing this training, as required by SAGA, and ensuring it becomes mandatory for all current LUC students in the upcoming 2021-2022 Academic Year. Additionally, “as described by the Provost and others in recent campus-wide communications,” we look to include an emphasis on anti-racism in addition to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Next Steps: Satisfied

Black Mental Health Resources

Portfolio Recommendation: Black Mental Health Resources

BCC & Co-Signatories Status Report: Satisfied

Campus Communication: The Wellness Center is enhancing existing mental health referral resources of community providers. Additionally, SDMA will continue to enhance its working relationship with Dr. Andrea Boyd, a Black-identified psychologist hired in January as the Counselor for Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice initiatives. SDMA is working to hold Wellness Groups for mentorship programs that include Women of Color, Men of Color, Queer & Transgender People of Color (QTPOC), Black & Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC).

BCC & Co-Signatories Organizational Updates: B.C.C. and the Wellness Center have developed an honest working relationship. We want to taketime and publicly recognize their passionate initiative [ 1 , 2 ] and extend our gratitude. TheWellness Center has developed an Undergraduate Black Mental Health Group that is beingfinalized for the coming months. Additionally, the Wellness Center has also developed aGraduate Black Mental Health Group that is already holding sessions this semester. As morecommunication is provided, BCC intends to readily promote these services, as well as, all otherBlack centered wellness resources.We appreciate and value the Wellness Groups designated for SDMA mentorship programs andwe are excited to promote similar spaces for all Black students centered around the beauty and uniqueness of Blackness.

Next Steps:

  • Continue working relationship with the Wellness Center.
  • Continue taking in feedback and suggestions for tangible resources and programming for Black students.
  • Promotion of resources focused on trauma support.
  • Continued assessment of all incoming programs and initiatives.

Campus Safety Initiatives [ (i.) Policy Review; (ii.) Publication of Conduct Records; (iii.) Badges and Names; (iv.) Racial Sensitivity Training, (v.) Cutting ties with CPD ]

Portfolio Recommendation: Campus Safety Initiatives [ (i.) Policy Review; (ii.) Publication of Conduct Records; (iii.) Badges and Names; (iv.) Racial Sensitivity Training, (v.) Cutting ties with CPD ]

BCC & Co-Signatories Status Report: Denied or Unaddressed

Campus Communication:
Campus Safety respectfully acknowledges the recommendations put forth by BCC and our other student organizations, and they remain committed to sustaining, renewing, and creating relationships within the community they serve. Our Campus Safety team values and cares about our students and student organizations, and they recognize that you can help us identify ways where we can work together to increase understanding and constructively address racial concerns on campus.

Under the State of Illinois’ Private College Campus Police Act, Loyola’s Campus Safety police officers and staff are legally required to work directly with the locally designated law authority. In the case of our Loyola community, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) is the recognized regulatory law enforcement agency for the City of Chicago. Based on state statutes and other important considerations, it is not practical for our University to sever a professional working relationship with local law enforcement authorities. The working relationship with the CPD is vital to ensuring the year-round protection of Loyola’s students, faculty, staff, and visitors, especially with a majority of our students living off-campus in neighborhoods near the Lake Shore Campus. For additional context, Campus Safety’s full statement can be found here.

BCC & Co-Signatories Organizational Updates:
Recent conversation and communication has made it clear that cutting ties with CPD is not an option at the current moment. However, we will be continuing conversations with campus partners to consider how Campus Safety operations would look without such a working relationship. In doing so, our aims are to turn the underlying needs and interests into actionable alternatives. Such alternatives undoubtedly include the four other points that have so far gone completely unaddressed. Acknowledging their commitment “to action that provides a safe, respectful, and welcome environment,” we seek to create a continued working relationship with Campus Safety that amplifies the Black student voice and experience, begging to be heard. Throughout our process together, we ask Campus Safety to provide more transparency that clearly outlines the full extent of its current working relationship with CPD, the functions of its department, and efforts to promote personal connections with the greater Loyola family, in which they are a part.

Next Steps:

  • Gather and disseminate better understanding of the current working relationship between Campus Safety & CPD. 
  • Meet with Campus Safety to discuss prioritization of a policy review, publication of conduct records, badges and names, and racial sensitivity training subpoints.
  • Establish a working relationship with the Campus Safety Department that amplifies the Black student experience.