For the past few weeks, the university’s administration has grappled with difficult conversations and made challenging decisions regarding the presence of a controversial speaker on campus and the potential threat of associated violence and disruption. During this time, faculty, staff and students have come together for discussions and to support one another in a way that reflects the deep care and concern that exist in our community.
As universities nationwide experience increased social activism from benign campus protests to threats from extremists who incite violence, UF Professor Clay Calvert has provided valuable insight on how college campuses balance First Amendment protections with public safety concerns. Calvert, alongside other UF faculty will be featured as a panelist in “A Conversation on the First Amendment” to be scheduled later this month. The event will extend conversations begun during UF Multicultural & Diversity Affairs’ Anti-Racism Education Week held Sept. 5-8. Visit the event’s Facebook page in the coming weeks for further details.
Last week, Jodi Gentry, UF vice president for human resources, shared a list of resources to support faculty, staff and students who may be suffering from anxieties or be concerned for their safety. In addition, the UF Employee Assistance Program will also host group sessions for employees who are in need of further support during this time.
Supervisors are urged to reach out to their faculty and staff during this time to ensure their needs for emotional support and safety are being addressed, especially those who may feel particularly vulnerable at this time. Whether having a one-on-one discussion with an employee exhibiting stress or ensuring faculty and staff see them as an open-door resource, supervisors play a key role in ensuring their employees feel as safe and comfortable as possible.
UFHR encourages faculty and staff to continue the conversation and to share their thoughts and concerns. Please email your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 352.392.2HRS for further assistance.