10 Ways to Fight Hate on Campus
Here are 10 things you can do to fight hate on campus.
1. Rise Up
Inaction in the face of hate will be viewed as apathy or, worse yet, as support for bigotry itself. Do something. Don’t let hate go unchallenged. In cases of bullying, bystanders do just as much to contribute to the problem, because they enable the bully to use hatred to make other students think less of themselves. Step up.
2. Pull Together
Bias incidents and hate crimes can divide communities. Don’t let hate tear people apart on your campus; pull together instead. The more our campus community works together, the less likely it will be that those who teach hatred will succeed. Keep our community strong.
3. Speak Out!
When hate strikes, don’t remain silent. Join with others; use your voices to denounce bigotry. Also, help guide the administration in its role. By providing positive voices for those who are ridiculed for being different, you show the need our community has to make a change, to respect all people because of their difference.
4. Support the Victims
Make sure that any planned response to a hate crime or bias incident takes into account the victims’ needs and wishes. Too often, decisions are made on behalf of victims, but without their actual input.
5. Name It, Know It
Are you dealing with a hate crime or a bias incident? Hate crimes are a matter for the criminal justice system; bias incidents are governed by campus policy.
6. Understand the Media
What happens if the media descend on our campus during a bias crisis? And what happens if they don’t? Prepare yourself to understand and work with the media. In regards to dealing LGBT Issues, Glaad Media offers a number of resources to train individuals to provide clear concise talking points for media outlets.
7. Know Our Campus
Before, during and after a bias crisis, examine institutional racism and bigotry on our campus. Be prepared to negotiate your way through these problem areas for effective change. Make sure that there is consensus, and that no one feels isolated, or left out of the conversation. You might miss out on the award winning view point.
8. Teach Tolerance
Bias crises often bring pain, anger and distrust to campus. They also present an opportunity for learning. Don’t miss the chance to eradicate ignorance. Further, aim to teach acceptance; through acceptance a community can become closer.
9. Maintain Momentum
The immediate crisis has passed. You’ve got two papers due and a midterm coming up. No one seems interested in follow-up meetings. What happens now? Keep the discussion alive among your peers.
10. Pass the Torch
What happens when you leave campus? Will you leave behind a record of activism that will inspire incoming students to pick up the fight? Make sure you do. This is key to sustainability. In addition to keeping good notes about the events and resources you have on your belt, also consider training other people to take your place.
These are just short descriptions of some of the steps that you can take to fight hate on our campus. For more details, please download the publication by Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Many of these steps have been adapted to more aptly address the needs of the LGBT community, but these steps can be used any area where hate might be a problem.