Improving Our Campus Climate


Improving Our Campus Climate | Listen, Learn, Respect

SUNY Plattsburgh is focused on building up a campus environment that is inclusive and welcoming to all, and which celebrates the diverse experiences and perspectives of all members.

On February 14, 2018, our campus community was confronted by an offensive, racist image on social media channels. The image was originally posted on Snapchat to a private group in January and included a vile message. The incident sparked demonstrations on campus, as well as in-depth and ongoing discussions among campus community members regarding racism, the Student Code of Conduct and diversity programs.

Through this time, we have been made more aware of the complex challenges facing many members of a campus community and we now see that we must do better. We are committing ourselves to making ‘better’ happen.

President Ettling initiated 10 key action steps for the campus to take. These steps are the starting point. An update link is below. Supporting documents for each will be included there as needed.

Progress Report (PDF)

Read the most recent update on action steps.

Action Steps

Establish a bias response-and-referral process that will address bias incidents.

Enhance the effort to improve the diversity of faculty and professionals. We will review our practices and report annually on our progress.

Implement mandatory, face-to-face training for all employees on diversity and inclusion.

Engage students and legal counsel in a comprehensive review of our Student Conduct Manual.

Request the Faculty Senate to charge the General Education Committee to institute a mandatory diversity requirement for all students.

Form a Social Justice Task Force, consisting of students, faculty, alumni, staff and community members.

Send a letter to the SUNY Board of Trustees advocating for a change in the Display of the Flag Policy to support raising the Black Lives Matter flag and other flags that are representative of our student body.

Create a Multi-Cultural Unity Space in the Angell College Center.

Increase University Police presence to ensure the safety of our campus community.

Enlist regional leaders in discussions to address racism in our surrounding communities.

Past News Updates

Affirmative Action Task Force Report - June 11

Group to Help Create Bias Response, Referral Process - April 5

Social Justice Task Force Membership Set - April 2

Thoughts on Campus Walk, Action Steps Update - March 23

Connect with University

President Ettling Creates Social Justice Task Force - March 21

We Walk Together Event Set for Campus - March 19

Diversity Week and the Work Ahead - March 2

Advancing Our Efforts | Listen, Learn and Respect - Feb. 27

President Ettling Acts to Improve Campus Climate, Expectations - Feb. 21

News on SUNY Visit and Next Steps for Campus - Feb. 19

Campus Moves into Further Conversations - Feb. 17

Actions Taken Following On-Campus Forum - Feb. 15

Update on Offensive Social Media Image - Feb. 15


SUNY Visit

SUNY presented the college with feedback from its site visit. Read the letter here. Many of their approaches are included in the action steps we are pursuing.

Contact Information

For questions, contact the Office of the President

Email: [email protected]