Important Message from President Williams

04/14/2005

Contributed by Theresa Klinger

Members of the Ithaca College community:

I was outraged and deeply saddened when I heard that acts of bias have once again taken place on our campus. This past weekend, explicit and angry racist graffiti were found written in several locations around the Towers Concourse and the rainbow flag symbolizing gay pride was stolen from the “free speech” flagpole.

As I said at my all-College address on March 15, heinous actions of this type, obviously born of ignorance and intolerance, have no place in a community that values diversity. And let me assure you that we are such a community. All of us -- students, faculty, and staff members alike -- must feel free to pursue our education and our work in a nurturing and safe environment. I urge us to not let these acts tear us apart but instead to bring us together. While I truly believe that these actions are being carried out by a small fraction of our community, we are all responsible for working together to build a campus that accepts and embraces our diversity, individually and collectively.

The Office of Public Safety is vigorously investigating these incidents. I implore anyone with information that would be helpful in determining those responsible to please contact the Office of Public Safety at 274-3333. Your confidentiality will be maintained. In addition, if you are ever the victim of a bias-related incident, please contact the Office of Public Safety or reach out to a member of the faculty or staff, whichever you find more comfortable, to seek support and assistance.

There will be a student-planned rally, “Erase the Hate” this Thursday, April 14, at noon at the free speech rock near the campus center. I urge you to attend this important gathering, to show support for changing the climate on this campus.

Our challenge is great, but our opportunities and our potential are greater. We can do better, we will do better.

Sincerely,
Peggy R. Williams, President

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