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Carnegie Mellon University: Respect the Diversity of Your Students

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Carnegie Mellon's mission statement includes that it will "serve our students by teaching them... the value of a commitment to quality, ethical behavior, and respect for others." The respect for those who practice various religions should be part of that mission. 

According to the Associated Press, and substantiated by Carnegie Mellon's office: " a female student [conducted a] half-naked march to pass out condoms while dressed as the Pope during a parade organized by the school's arts department... [T]he woman had her pubic hair shaved in the shape of a cross." 

As a Carnegie Mellon graduate who attended mass there for years until it was no longer offered on campus, I am hurt that my university has taken no action. This disrespect to Roman Catholics in particular and Christians as a whole should not be dismissed. No matter the faith, no matter the ethnicity, no matter the gender, no matter the race, no matter the disability, all students should be treated with respect and dignity. This young woman, the Carnegie Mellon Art Department, and Carnegie Mellon as a whole must stand up for its students so that they do not feel displaced and devalued.

First, I am not asking for the termination of the student.  Instead, I ask that University allow the student a forum to apologize, should she wish to do so, for the disrespect she showed her fellow classmates and the Pittsburgh religious communities. 

Moreso, I am asking for an apology from the university. I ask that the Art Department provide a space for a Catholic mass to show respect. As a private institution, Carnegie Mellon can do this at any time. Last, I ask that Carnegie Mellon analyze its diversity education efforts to ensure that students are taught to respect one another's religions.



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