students with gay pride flag
Photo by: Romeo Collado, with Island Scene Magazine

University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner shared a message on November 25 to students, faculty and staff of the UH campuses.

To Our University of Hawaiʻi ʻOhana,

Recently, we have received reports of disparaging signs and flyers posted around UH’s several campuses that have made some of our community members feel disrespected and unsafe. I also received a recent allegation of a faculty member on one of our campuses showing such disrespect by referring to a person as “he/she/it.”

We should all be concerned by these incidents, and I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone of our mission and commitment to support and embrace a diverse and inclusive university community.

The University must be a place where we are all challenged to grow. There will always be differing views on almost everything. But we all have a responsibility to engage with each other in a respectful and thoughtful manner. Neither public nor private messages of hate, disdain, disparagement or disrespect have any place on our campuses. We strive every day to create environments in which each of us can responsibly and safely express ourselves, even through our disagreements. Each UH campus may find its own way to advance these values through dialog and programming, but we are united in our commitment to always become better.

I also want to remind our community about the resources available on our campuses. If you need further assistance, guidance or support, I encourage students to reach out to your student affairs staff and employees to reach out to your campus or unit human resources staff. Those offices will also be able to identify for you any additional campus resources.

I thank you all for everything each of you brings to UH. Together we can work to uphold our values and create an environment that is welcoming and supportive of all.

With aloha,
David Lassner