Petition to the Chancellor and Provost of Syracuse University

This petition made change with 684 supporters!

In the light of current events, we urge the Provost and Chancellor of Syracuse University to express in the name of the community of students, staff and faculty their solidarity with those coming to our country as refugees, who live here as immigrants and those who rightfully fear an increase in discrimination on the basis of their race, gender, socio-economic status, religion and sexuality. We want Syracuse University to make a statement that we not only remain a safe space for everyone but that striving for an open, tolerant society belongs to our core values. We believe that fighting against discrimination and social exclusion needs to be an essential part of our teaching, learning and academic inquiry.

Yesterday the United States became a less safe place for many of us. People who have already been vulnerable are now rightfully frightened and deserve the solidarity and support of the whole community.

Syracuse is a city of immigrants. Syracuse University has a long record of giving those who have traditionally faced discrimination and disadvantage a safe haven, a place where they are respected and a place that has offered them the opportunity to learn and to build a future. It is a place that welcomes students and faculty from all over the world and aims at breaking down cultural and social walls.

We have to make clear that Syracuse University is, and will always be, such a place – but that is not enough. It is now more than ever our responsibility as teachers, staff, and students to place the values of openness, tolerance, respect, and diversity at the core of our teaching and learning. We must take an active stand against discrimination, bullying, exclusion, disrespect, and the objectification of women or anyone.

It is good to be right minded, but it is not enough. As scholars, as teachers and as students we are bound to uphold objectivity, free speech and academic rigor. Yet there are no ‘neutral’ or ‘unbiased’ positions towards racism, sexism, the painful destructiveness of hate speech and bigotry. As academics we have the responsibility to devise proper responses to social ills - we must make our voices heard now more than ever before.

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