I am writing to address hate speech on our campus. It should go without saying that hate speech has no place on NDSU campus, but I am saying it and saying it loudly.
Incidents involving hate speech are antithetical to what we stand for as an educational community. The actions of people who participate in hate speech do not reflect the mission and values of our university nor our community.
NDSU values treating all of its students, staff, and faculty with dignity and respect. We promote and strive for an educational environment that is accessible, diverse, equitable, and inclusive. As a campus and a community, we need to be, and I insist that we be, united in our mission and aggressively speak out against bigotry, racism, and prejudice.
I am deeply appalled by the conduct of any students who engage in hate speech. Once again, it has no place in our community. Hate speech causes students, staff, and faculty of color to experience campus as a racially hostile environment. To all people of color who are members of our community, please know that I am ashamed that hate speech exists on our campus. We must and will do better to help ensure your safety and educational participation.
Making this issue even more frustrating is that colleges have so few legally permissible tools to react because federal courts have established that hate speech is protected speech. However, doing nothing is not an option, so I am establishing a crisis response team for NDSU, which will begin meeting tomorrow to determine what immediate steps can be taken to improve the climate and safety of campus. Membership will be diverse and reflective of all areas of campus.
I assure you that the university has always been and will remain sincere in its commitment to inclusivity, but I acknowledge that there are and will be failures out of our control. In such circumstances, we will respond as thoroughly and aggressively as possible. We will continue to work together to dismantle systemic racism piece by piece, day by day.
NDSU does not discriminate in its programs and activities on the basis of age, color, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, participation in lawful off campus activity, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, public assistance status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, spousal relationship to current employee, or veteran status, as applicable. Direct inquiries to: Vice Provost, Title IX/ADA Coordinator, Old Main 201, 701-231-7708, firstname.lastname@example.org.