Colleges across America have recently seen an astounding display of groveling. Presidents who just can’t bear the thought that some students are less than completely happy with the way they are running things have abased themselves with all sorts of offerings to them.
I copy here an email message sent by the president of one small Pennsylvania college.
Dear Elizabethtown College Community:
The incidents of discrimination and tension that have occurred on college
campuses nationwide are reminders to us of the progress yet to be made in our
society. The threat of violence that was scrawled in one of our classrooms
just a few weeks ago is evidence of this. Elizabethtown College is a community
that welcomes everyone but will not tolerate violence, threats of violence,
hatred, bigotry, or discrimination that demeans others or seeks to divide our
community. It is incumbent on all of us to listen to each other carefully, to
open ourselves to others’ perspectives and to remember that we are all part a
community working to make our College a place where everyone feels valued,
accepted, and above all, safe.
I, along with some members of our Senior Staff and faculty, was pleased to
have the opportunity last evening to meet with student leaders representing
Noir-Student Diversity Union, Allies, Queer Student Union, and Student Senate.
We came together to discuss a variety of agenda items brought forward by the
€ Exploring the possibility of a diversity and inclusivity house
€ Considering hiring a diverse representative in Counseling Services
€ Offering new curricular and co-curricular programs
€ Expanding faculty and staff development in diversity and inclusion
€ Expanding Gender Inclusive Housing options
€ Hiring a Director of Diversity and/or Coordinator of LGBTQ programming
We have also seen solid progress on efforts to make our campus more inclusive.
Brandon Jackson is re-convening the Campus Diversity Advocates Group, Dr.
Richard Newton coordinated the Six Word Story Project (his students will
present their assessments of the project during finals week), Resident
Assistants will be receiving additional bias incidents response training, and
roundtable groups composed of students, faculty, and staff have been created
to discuss LGBTQ+ and ALANA student needs.
On November 19 from 7:30pm – 8:30p.m. in Hoover 212, please join the Office of
Multicultural Programs for an open-campus discussion on the bias-related
incidents that have occurred on college campuses across the country and share
your thoughts on the effects of discrimination. Continuing an open dialog is
the first step to effecting change.
As we address these challenges here at home, events continue to unfold in our
global fight on terrorism. I encourage us all to stand together, regardless of
race, class, gender, sexual orientation or religious beliefs. Here, at
Elizabethtown, the values of peace and social justice that make our community
special can also fuel important conversations in these troubled times. I look
forward to continuing the conversations.
Carl J. Strikwerda