I am writing with some comments regarding the May 25 Letter to the Editor of the Miscellany News submitted by a group of professors with some student and alumnae/i signatories.
Vassar’s Statement on Academic Responsibility and Respect for Persons, emphasizes that the College “welcomes forms of dissent and protest that acknowledge and encourage the expression of different perspectives.” It is with this in mind that we will continue to support free speech on our campus. The moment such speech provokes lawlessness or violence, however, it becomes unacceptable.
Fostering an environment where education and ongoing discussion can thrive must be paramount, and this has been my focus since arriving at Vassar. Thus, while the letter published in the Misc does not represent an official position of the College, we defend the right of the faculty who wrote and signed it to make such a statement.
At the same time, I unequivocally denounce and condemn the recent anti-Semitic attacks directed at Jewish Americans. The Islamophobia aimed at Muslim Americans over the last few weeks is equally unacceptable. This sort of violence has no place at Vassar or in society. With attacks spreading coast-to-coast, it is more important than ever that we—as a community that embraces diversity, inclusion, and equity—condemn such horrific acts and continue to be a voice for inquiry and dialogue.
Any statements representing official positions of Vassar will always be found on the President’s page on the Vassar website.