September 10, 2020
Dear members of the campus community,
This afternoon, an individual came to our campus and engaged in an unplanned, unauthorized spontaneous demonstration. This person was not affiliated with our university.
As a public institution, we must permit individuals to exercise their right to free speech, even speech that we find offensive. There are limits to free speech rights, however, and we are investigating to determine this individual violated our anti-harassment/discrimination policy. If so, he will not be allowed back on campus. If you believe that you were harassed by today’s speaker, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also have heard from students who question what today’s events say about our institutional values, particularly around two main issues. Let me be unequivocal: Black Lives Matter! This is a personal belief and an institutional value. This statement recognizes that Black people have been subjected to injustices that must end, and the same holds true for other persons of color. Additionally, we want to ensure members of our LGBTQ+ community feel supported. We at SVSU must do our part to improve equity and justice for all those who have suffered from unfair treatment. We are actively engaging with individuals and organizations on campus and in the community to achieve this, and that important work will continue.
I would also like to express my appreciation to our students for exercising responsibility in responding to today’s outside speaker. Many of you exercised your rights to free speech respectfully and safely. I understand your passion to stand up for your beliefs, but we must remain vigilant to protect each other’s health and safety. COVID-19 remains a threat that we must confront by taking the necessary precautions, such as wearing our masks and maintaining safe social distancing.
We are still in the early days of the most challenging of semesters. We must continue working together to ensure learning continues and health and safety practices are followed, while also supporting every member of our Cardinal community, especially those who need our support the most.
Donald J. Bachand
Office of the President