University of Rochester President Joel Seligman has formed a commission on race and diversity "to address the broader questions of how we best can create an environment that is safe, supportive and welcoming for all in our community," he said in a statement.
The commission will by the end of January 2016 provide Seligman with an assessment of the state of the climate on campus for all races; programs that strengthened this climate; elements of campus life that are creating an unhealthy campus climate; and recommendations for improvement.
One of the recommendations will address whether to bar the social media site Yik Yak from the UR wireless network. A number of racist posts have been made on the site, Seligman said.
In one instance, he said, "there was encouragement of sexual assault against a specific individual."
A petition from the Minority Student Advisory Board, the Spanish and Latino students' associations, the Douglass Leadership House, and the Black Students' Union asks for immediate changes on the UR campus.
Seligman commended the students for the petition and for a march that they organized. He also approved a campus-wide survey of faculty and staff to assess the campus climate, with results due by May 2016.
The commission will also hold a series of public meetings at the River Campus, the Medical Center, and the Eastman School of Music.