Recent events on campus remind us once again that black students in particular and underrepresented students in general still face stereotyping and prejudice in our community. As an institution of higher learning, and as a community, we must call out these disturbing actions and attitudes at the individual and institutional level. Our obligation as faculty and staff is to be informed, respectful, and inclusive of others’ experiences, and to proceed in good faith, especially when discussing issues that historically and currently affect valued members of our community. When discussing these issues, it is our responsibility to inform ourselves about the theoretical and empirical contributions made across disciplines that directly study such issues and to bring these contributions into the discussion. In addition, to avoid abusing our power and privilege, we must become and remain aware of how power and privilege vary with people’s positions at our college. We must not practice education in a manner that assumes our own experience to be the norm, or others’ experiences, being different, to be less valid. Instead, we, the co-signers of this letter, seek to create and safeguard an environment in which all students are free to engage in learning without fear of attack and systemic invalidation, especially from those with power over their futures. Individuals have the right to free speech. Nevertheless, as stated in our collectively-endorsed Community Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, it is every community member’s responsibility to ensure that students are “safe to pursue” their academic goals in a “community that respects difference and promotes a sense of inclusion and belonging.”
From conversations with colleagues and students these past few days, we know that many share our perspective. Please raise your voices with ours in support of underrepresented members of our community. We encourage you to show this support in other ways, e.g., attending student events and organizations, using an inclusive syllabus design, learning from those with expertise, encouraging dialogue, and being open to multiplicity in all areas of campus.
If you didn’t have an opportunity to sign this letter and you would like to do so, you may access the letter online by visiting: http://bit.ly/geneseo_solidarity
Signed: Monica Schneider, Matthew Pastizzo, Lytton Smith, Jenny Katz, Beth McCoy, Julie Rao, Kimberley Willis, Jennifer Guzmán, Tina Merrilees, Bradley Taber-Thomas, Steven Kirsh, Karen Mooney, Ganie DeHart, Colin Zestcott, Jim Allen, Stacey Robertson, robbie routenberg, Daniel Jacques, Catherine Adams, James Aimers, Joe Cope, Monique Patenaude, Jeff Mounts, Eunisha Tucker, Christa Aldrich, Terry Bazzett, Allison Bechard, Joan Ballard, Josh Hagen, Mallory Giambra, Nick Palumbo, Isis Leverson, Linda Cicero, Justin Behrend, Alice Rutkowski, Melanie Medeiros, Amanda Lewis-Nang’ea, Glenn Geiser-Getz, Paul Schacht, Enrico Johnson, Gerard Floriano, Yvonne Seale, Shawn Plummer, Joan Zook, Tamara Kenney, Rachel Hall, Maria Helena Lima, Joe Dolce, Barbara Rex-McKinney, Melanie Blood, Irene Belyakov-Goodman, Jordan Kleiman, Christopher Rivera, Bob O’Donnell, Karleen West, Richard Jurnack, Sam Fallon, Taylor Gale, Molly Downey, Scott Giorgis, Theresa Robert, Jennifer Apple, David Levy, Caroline Woidat, Kristina Hannam, Atsushi Tajima, carlo filice, Gregg Hartvigsen, Becky Patt, Shawn Austin, Dennis Showers, Jeff Brubaker, Rob Feissner, Laurie Fox, Wes Kennison, Brandon West, Tara Pepis, Michelle Costello, Kelly Keegan, Susan Norman, Betsy Hutchison, Graham N. Drake, Michele Feeley, Bryan Rivera, Ling MaDan DeZarn, Paul Jackson, Lydia Kertz, Jane Fowler Morse, Suann Yang, Gillian Paku, David Parfitt, Regan McGannon, Mary Ellen Zuckerman, Jeremy Hall, Emily Froome-Kuntz, Ben Rawlins, Suzanna Rubright, Tracy Gagnier, Katie Buckley, Karie A. Frisiras, Timothy Finnigan, Anne Baldwin, Harold Hoops, Roxana Sammons, Marissa Schlitter, Julie Briggs, Aileen Mack, Monica Hershberger, Heather Leary, Heather Orme, Stacy Colt, Georgenson Anselme, Jennifer Rogalsky, Margaux Carmel, Josie Reinhardt, Tim Carey, Garth Freeman, Beth Cholette, Mark Broomfield, Leigh O’Brien, Beverly Henke-Lofquist, Susan Romano, Ravi Lamontagne, Laura Swanson, Jill Leibenguth, Michael R. George, Meredith Harrigan, Meg Reitz, Kathleen Mapes, David Granger, Victoria Phipps, Colleen Garrity, Megan Kennerknecht, Ruel McKnight, Nisha Varghese, Aaron Steinhauer, Beth Adams, Lisa D’Angelo, Ken Cooper, Reverien Mfizi, Courtney Havens, Lisa Meyer, Emily Cole, Sarah Brookes, Jeanne Galbraith, Bill Lofquist, Ray Boucher, Jaime M. Arena, David Geiger, Eric Helms, Sasha Allgayer, Rose McEwen, Flossie Stephens, Jeffrey Peterson, James Quinn, Kyle James Matthews, Nicholas Warner, Heather Wilhelm-Routenberg , Annmarie Urso, Johnnie Ferrell, Jonathan M. Bullinger, Barnabas Gikonyo, Jovana Babovic, Linda Ludlum, Crystal Simmons, Anjoo Sikka, Chris Annala, Thea Yurkewecz, Alla Myzelev, Jennifer Kenyon, Tiffany Brodner, Lori Bernard, Rachel Pasternak , Alan Witt, Savi Iyer, Paul Pacheco, George Marcus, Randy Barbara Kaplan, Ken Pan, Megan Kyle, Kurt Cylke, Sue Ann Brainard, Matthew Winters, Kiara Massar, Doug Baldwin, Don Kot, Barbara Welker, Suzy Boor, Anne Lanzafame, Monica Hamm, Wendy Pogozelski, Tracy Paradis, Sandra Argentieri, Patti McIlroy, Sarah Frank, Karen Dickerson, Leah McGray, Caroline Beltz-Hosek, Meghan Tiede, Rob Doggett, Brian Morgan, Andrew Bergevin, Nick LaGamba, Kurt Fletcher , Charlie Freeman, David Robertson, Christie Smith , Leah Houk, Joan Floriano, Melissa Sutherland, Sharon Peck , Nichole Siwicki, Robert Torregrosa, Amanda Roth, Chris Leary, Lt Matthew Austin, Daniel Ross, Jani E. Lewis, Alex Carlo, Andrew Herman, Amy Cochrane, Kim Harvey, Bethany Hettinger