Who We Are at Pacific University

Over the past several days, we have seen two horrifying acts in our region: an incident of racial slurs and threats at an athletic event at BYU and a shooting at a grocery store in Bend, Ore.

While these two incidents are unrelated, they both are examples of the prevalent and disturbing trend of violence — in word and deed — that we face in our communities. And they are both reminders to pause and reflect on who we are and who we want to be, as individuals, community members, and Pacific University Boxers.

Our mission at Pacific is to inspire students who think, care, create, and pursue justice in our world. We believe in safety — for everyone. We believe in justice and equity. And we believe in getting involved, stepping up and speaking out to create change in our world.

As a university committed to health education, we recognize gun violence as a public health issue deserving of research and evidence-based solutions. Our students, faculty and staff continue to advocate for these solutions through their scholarly work and professional service. We do not allow firearms on our campuses, and we have emergency interventions and plans in place to address potential acts of violence.

We also do not tolerate racism or acts of hate on our campuses or in our communities. I would like to believe that, in a situation like the one at BYU, our campus community would interrupt hate speech immediately. It is the responsibility of every individual to denounce hate, not only with our words but with our actions.

As a university, we are working to unpack and address the roots and effects of racism at our institution. As individuals, we invite each of you to do the same.

On Friday, I invited our employees to join me in A Year of Wellness and Action, starting with a personalized 21-day challenge around Cultural and Social Health. Though this initiative is designed primarily for employees, students also are welcome to participate. In light of this weekend’s incidents, you might choose to use this challenge as an opportunity to learn more about the effects of racism; to learn tools for interrupting hate speech, or to better understand the effects of gun violence on public health.

I also invite students and employees to seek out opportunities for civic engagement, political discourse, and advocacy through our Tom McCall Center for Civic Engagement.

As always, we at Pacific are here to support you. We have many resources available to students and employees if you do encounter racism, violence, or trauma:


Monday, Aug. 29, 2022