The following message was emailed to students on Sept. 26, 2016 from Paul J. McLoughlin, dean of students:
As you are likely aware, the presidential campaigns are intensifying and the first presidential debate is later this evening, at 9pm. Our nation is also in the midst of some very important conversations regarding violence toward people of color and other marginalized groups. As we make our way through a critical and contentious time, I want to encourage everyone to engage in campus dialogue that is respectful and productive.
I remind you that, as we seek to have conversations about ideas, the political can be personal. Members of the Lafayette community are personally affected by the policies up for debate at the national level. It is important that we demonstrate a lived commitment to the College’s values of inclusion and community engagement. Damaging property and personal attacks, including those on social media, are antithetical to these values and will not be tolerated.
Defacing posters or door boards, damaging others’ property, or harassment, the definition of which includes name-calling and other threatening behaviors, are all violations of the Student Code of Conduct, and will result in disciplinary sanctions. We are called as members of an institution of higher education to engage in conversation, share ideas, offer alternatives, and respect others’ right to do the same. It is with thoughtful attention to others’ beliefs and ideas that we further refine our own. We may not always reach consensus, but discomfort or disagreement never justifies behavior that violates our community standards.
The Office of Intercultural Development is compiling a calendar of programs to highlight opportunities for the community to discuss issues central to the presidential campaign, and central to our direction as a nation. As I invited last week, if you are planning such an event, please be in contact with coordinator of Intercultural Development Liam O’Donnell ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) with the details. The deadline to be included in this calendar of events is October 4th.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch a video developed over this past summer to introduce our newest students to Lafayette as well as our expectations of one another in this scholarly community. This video seems like a timely reminder of who we are as a community and what expectations we have set for everyone who enjoys membership in it.