Petition update

Campaign Progress & Changes to the Petition

New York, NY, United States

Nov 11, 2015 — After its release 3 days ago, this petition has garnered almost 1,500 signatures, and been covered by the Vanderbilt Hustler, WKRN-TV Nashville, the Independent Journal, and other news sources.

Since then, the writers of the petition chose to revisit the wording of the original petition to incorporate feedback received from the Vanderbilt community via social media. Overall, the premise of the petition didn't change, but changes were made to more clearly address Swain’s right to free speech and outline a path for the university to resolve the requests made. To protect the integrity of the petition, those who may disprove with the new wording may "un-sign" at any time by clicking the appropriate link in their emails from

While the Vanderbilt administration has acknowledged our complaints, they delivered empty promises, saying "we will bring these values to bear as we engage with our students, alumni and faculty on these important issues," a line that we've heard too often before.

While Carol Swain has been unreachable for comment by the Vanderbilt Hustler, her Facebook page provides a blatant response to the petition, saying in part, "only an idiot would think a 61-year-old black woman who has spent much of her life in academia would benefit from sensitivity training." When asked to defend her position on live television, Swain resorted to calling students "sad and pathetic," a defense consistent with the ad hominem arguments she has used historically. You can hear her statements at the link below.

Until we have received more definitive proof that the Vanderbilt administration is taking steps to investigate the allegations made against Professor Swain, we will continue to circulate this petition and reach out for comment.

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