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UC Announces Statement of a Just Community

Date: Feb. 14, 2001
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photo by: Dottie Stover
Archive: General News

A brass band, a bronze plaque, a patchwork flag, and heart-decorated Valentine treats set the atmosphere for a good-size crowd that turned out for the celebration of the University of Cincinnati Statement of a Just Community, unveiled on Feb. 14 in the atrium of the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). The highlight of the ceremony was the unveiling of a four-foot bronze plaque, engraved with the university's mission statement and the eight principles to accomplish a more caring and just community on campus.

Mitchel Livingston, founder of the Just Community initiative and Vice President for Student Affairs and Human Resources, said the ideals to define UC as a "more caring and inclusive community" were achieved through speeches (featuring international speakers), forums and dialogue. He thanked and recognized the members of the steering committee who worked on the initiative as well as Lanthan Camblin, associate professor of education, and Tim Quinnan, assistant dean, Raymond Walters College, for leading the campus wide dialogue that helped shape the ideals. Other representatives included students (Dan Phenicie), staff (Lonnie Springs, facilities management; Linda Beck, receptionist), and faculty (Mick McLaughlin, associate dean, Clermont College; Lisa Newman, A&S).

Senior Vice President and Provost for Baccalaureate and Graduate Education Anthony Perzigian praised Livingston for his "vision and vitality that brought this here." Gesturing around the new atrium, Perzigian pointed out that the CCM village was a prime example of how academic facilities have been successfully aligned with programs under the Master Plan. However, Perzigian said that while the buildings were magnificent structures, they were hollow inside, and that Just Community is the means by which to develop the blueprint for the university to build on the bricks and build a community by building values, civility, mutual respect and a caring attitude.

Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken was on hand to issue a proclamation, declaring Feb. 14, 2001 "UC Just Community Day" in the city of Cincinnati. He pointed out the historic relationship between the University of Cincinnati and the city of Cincinnati and said the university has long been a leader in terms of research and medical breakthroughs.

"The university must also be at the forefront of human issues that affect us all, and nothing is more important at this time in our history as fostering caring in the city," said Luken. He predicted that fostering caring and civility will increasingly be at the forefront of community issues in the years ahead.

"We need to focus on how we as a community can come together. Many things divide us."

UC President Joseph Steger heard a hearty "hallelujah" when he said the Just Community initiative was "about soul. We have to have soul at this university. If we don't have a strong commitment to the welfare of each other, we don't have a university."

A section of the 40 X 48 foot flag, designed by students during orientation to display their ideal of a Just Community, hung from the second floor of the atrium over the ceremony. Full size, it's made of 205 smaller flags tied together and was previously used as a dramatic backdrop at the student convocation last fall.

The ceremony was carried live on a UC webcast. After the grand unveiling of the plaque, UC student body president Dan Phenicie read the eight ideals for achieving a Just Community, outlined under the mission of the university. Livingston said the plaque will be placed in the university pavilion when it is completed. Replicas also will be on display at UC's branch campuses.

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