Op-Ed, Opinion

Faculty, staff stand for ‘climate of mutual respect’ at University of Miami

A letter originally drafted by several English professors addressing the post-election climate has now collected 502 interdepartmental signatures. Read our accompanying news story here.

To the University of Miami community,

We, the undersigned, are University of Miami faculty who stand against acts and words of hate and intimidation directed at any member of the University community in the aftermath of the US presidential election. Such acts and words violate the core values of this institution: diversity, integrity, responsibility, compassion, and teamwork. We are proud that our student body and the people who work at this university come from all over the United States and the world, speak many languages, are of many races, sexualities, and gender identities, and hold many faiths. This University is at the forefront of the science of climate change, and we live at a crossroads of many cultures. We welcome President Frenk’s Veterans Day affirmation of UM as an “exemplary university that fosters respectful dialogue on challenging topics in the quest to find truth and understand each other better.” We stand ready to defend the University and its community against acts and words that violate these core values and spread fear.

Before and after November 8 there have been numerous acts of hate and intimidation directed towards people of color, immigrants, people without papers, LGBT people, Muslims and Jews, people with disabilities, and women. We have heard political rhetoric that promotes an idea of American national identity from which many are permanently excluded. There has been disdain for the results of scientific research on climate change and the impact of sea-level rise on our region. As teachers and scholars, we stand for open inquiry, equal rights, and a livable planet; we condemn all acts of intolerance and anything that contributes to the creation of a “post-truth” world. Joining other faculty across the country, we pledge that our classrooms, labs, libraries, and offices will remain spaces where the targeting of anyone on the basis of race, ethnicity, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and/or disability is unacceptable, that we will speak out against intolerance, and that we will do our very best to model and teach critical thinking.

We hope you will join us in making sure our campus remains a community of belonging, dedicated to the collective pursuit of new knowledge in a climate of mutual respect.

Sincerely,

November 30, 2016

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.