October 24, 2019
Dear Members of our Campus Community,
It is important we celebrate and affirm our campus diversity, including diversity of thought. Time and time again, I see examples of members of our college community supporting one another despite their differences, and embracing the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in ways that have come to define us. This is the true power each of us possesses as members of a caring campus community. Oswego is a special place where every member of our campus community deserves access to the richness of a SUNY Oswego education, while feeling safe and encouraged to be themselves and proud of who they are. And, at the same time, every member of our campus community must protect this special nature of SUNY Oswego.
Last week an uninvited visitor to campus spewed hateful speech in the name of his religion and pointedly demeaned and vilified specific members of our campus community. I write to you today, not about his awful and hurtful behavior, but to acknowledge the pain felt by those who heard his verbal tirade. Members of our LGBTQ+ community were profoundly affected. I want to publicly commend the students at the center of it for their resiliency and strength. I am also thankful and proud of those who supported their friends and fellow students in solidarity and care.
I have an abiding faith in the people of SUNY Oswego to truly live the values of the just, compassionate, supportive, and active college community. I am asking that each of us remember people may use words to hurt us, but as a community response we can reach out with respect and understanding to provide care, comfort, and solace to one another. We can, individually and together, stand for justice and change—actively seeking to create a better world for today and tomorrow.
Let us remain steadfast in making diversity, equity and inclusion the norm on our campus … and remember that “Love is Love” – that is who we are at SUNY Oswego.
Deborah F. Stanley