The recent incident involving racist threats directed at an African-American student via writings on a whiteboard in Copeland Hall understandably has been a source of tremendous concern at GVSU. We in the Political Science Department at GVSU join other members of the GVSU community in condemning this recent hateful act. We cherish freedom of speech, yet there are limits to our speech in a university/work setting, particularly when it promotes intimidation of individuals for reasons related to race, ethnicity, religion, gender identification, sexual orientation, etc. We strive to provide a safe and hostile-free environment for all of our students, faculty, and staff. Our role as professors is to ensure that during our classroom interactions, we all conduct ourselves in a respectful manner that celebrates difference of opinion but also demonstrates civility toward our fellow GVSU community members. We appreciate all feedback students, faculty, and staff may have in an effort to ensure that we all are able to live, work, and learn in a respectful environment that ensures dignity for all individuals.
We urge everyone to reflect on how racist acts are hurtful and denigrating to each and every one of us as human beings, irrespective of the differences we may have.