Transparency regarding recent events


Celestine J. Epps

Crime statistics from the 2021 Annual Security & Fire Safety Reports at UNCA.

As the student voice of UNC Asheville, the Blue Banner strives to accurately inform students of events regarding campus issues. Due to the legalities of current events, most coverage has been limited to emails strictly from campus officials. 

Like the campus, we too are bound to specifics.

UNCA held a town hall on March 30 in an attempt to increase transparency with students on campus regarding the resignation of a faculty member first made public in an email the same day. 

During the meeting, officials restated the legalities of the issue and attempted to answer questions on the matter, with most answers circling back to an issue regarding personnel matters or federal privacy law. By the end of the meeting, no new information was said.  

We applaud the campus’ attempt to be transparent and attempt to give students more information, but that attempt did not lead to any new updates. It seemed like a rehash of previously sent emails, but with the inclusion of more legal terms and privacy law. 

While federal privacy laws do protect personal information, things like aggregate numbers are public information. Instead of restating details, officials could have increased transparency by giving students resources to check campus safety, such as showing them how to access and read campus crime logs as well as yearly safety reports provided by the Clery Act.

Students are concerned about their safety on campus, regardless of current events, and the manner in which information is communicated through the university. In an initial email sent by the Chancellor, students were vaguely informed of a faculty member’s alleged misconduct, prompting further discussions to identify the unnamed professor.

Though the situation is resolved from the administration’s perspective, allegations regarding any type of misconduct are personal to the UNCA community. To maintain the campus culture of mutual respect and compassion, we remind students to look out for each other, be vigilant and strive toward a safe environment.