August 17, 2017
Dear Members of the Campus Community,
I would like to join the scores of individuals across the country who yesterday honored the courage and conviction of Heather Heyer, the young woman who was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend, as well as those who will celebrate in the coming days the two Virginia State Police officers who died in Saturday’s helicopter crash.
The lives lost, the brutality inflicted, and the senseless acts of racism weigh heavily on all of us, leaving many searching for a way forward. Now, more than ever, it is critical for us to come together as a nation to reject all forms of bigotry that threaten the very fabric of our society and what makes our country great.
I would also like to use this opportunity to again reinforce that our campus is a place of respectful debate, thoughtful inquiry, and engaged citizenship. As an institution of higher learning, we are committed to academic freedom and the rights we inherently have to express our opinions and convictions.
We are also equally committed to the protection of individual dignity and the free exchange of ideas. These commitments are at the core of who we are, and are representative of the foundational values we hold dear. Together, as a University community, we will simply not tolerate acts of racism or intolerance.
I offer my sincerest thanks to all of you for helping to make our campus a welcoming and safe place for people of all backgrounds, and for doing your part to ensure that the University of New Haven is a rich, rewarding, and culturally inclusive environment in which we can all thrive.