A Timely Reminder

17 Sep

On Saturday, the nation marked the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  It did so amidst a series of controversies that revived tensions and fed misunderstandings.  In the wake of recent events, I’ve asked my colleague, Brian Bridges, Vice Provost for Diversity, Access, and Equity to comment on some of the values that we hold as an institution.

Brian writes:

“I believe Ohio University is a very accepting community. Our campuses are diverse places. However, we know that Ohio University and its surroundings are not immune to issues that plague our society, especially when divergent ideals and perspectives come into play.

The intense discourse over religious differences leading up to the anniversary of the September 11 attacks brought a number of passionate voices to the fore, and, in some instances, created an environment that made those in our communities who are Muslim or perceived to be Muslim feel unwelcome and vulnerable.

While free speech is valued, we must be proactive about countering messages and actions that threaten to taint our community. Intolerance for different perspectives or persons, be it in the form of racial, ethnic, homophobic, or religious slurs or threatening behavior, have no place here or anywhere in our society. I hope all members of Ohio University and the communities that we serve will join me in denouncing this type of conduct and in working for greater understanding and meaningful, civil interactions.”

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