UNH: Bring Sheriff David Clarke, Jr. to UNH and apologize

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Sheriff David Clarke was invited to be the keynote speaker speak at the Arnold Markle Symposium hosted at the University of New Haven. However, after a few months of making arrangements, the University backed out of their offer in having Sheriff Clarke speak because of his stance on “Black Lives Matter”. Sheriff Clarke was invited to speak about Forensics, what he was speaking about had nothing to do with black lives matter. Universities are supposed to be places where ideas can be exchanged and where students are able to be exposed to different viewpoints. The University of New Haven apparently does not feel that to be important in the education of its students. As students we should be able to learn and grow from all opinions. (A link to Sheriff Clarke's blog post about this is posted below.)

The mission of the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences is to integrate traditional liberal arts and sciences education with the highest quality professional education to prepare our students to become leaders in society and within their professional fields. The University of New Haven prides itself on students receiving an experiential education and wants students to “become leaders in society within their professional fields”, however when an opportunity comes up for students to hear from a prominent leader, whose viewpoints may not align with the university administration, they simply uninvited him.

Sheriff Clarke deserves an apology from the University Administration. As a student who is normally proud to say he goes to UNH, I would be lying if I said I still felt that way. I am embarrassed that I go to a school that will dis-invite a speaker who has a different viewpoint than the school’s administration on current issues.

The students in the Henry C. Lee Institute also deserve an apology, the university wants us to become “leaders”, yet they will not let us hear from one of the nation’s most prominent Sheriffs, a true proven leader in the field of Law Enforcement. I could not agree with Sheriff Clarke's statement any more when he said “It’s time for those in higher education to grow a spine.  Whatever happened to the marketplace of ideas?”.

I encourage students, donors, alumni, families and everyone to sign and comment on this petition and let the University know they are doing the students an injustice by not having Sheriff Clarke come to speak.

Lastly, Sheriff Clarke, if you happen to come across this petition, I would like to apologize to you personally and let you know that myself and other students are humiliated at by how you were treated by the University of New Haven.

A link to Sheriff Clarke's blog post can be found here:

Brian S. Sharnick
Senior – Criminal Justice
University of New Haven

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