This March, as our Seniors held one of their traditional festivities known as the Natty Boh Hunt, a person or persons unknown violated the spirit of these student led celebrations by painting misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and anti-Black, messages on several beer cans – the objects of the hunt. We do not know and we may never know the precise motivations of the offender(s). We do know that the right to free speech is almost inviolate even when it advances bigotry. But we know this too: the SMCM faculty completely repudiates all forms of bigotry and hate speech as contrary to the principle of the irreducible value which we attach to each and every member of our community. We re-affirm instead the central vision of the St. Mary’s Way – that on these grounds we are the inheritors of a historic compact that commits students, faculty, and staff to the creation and maintenance of an intellectual and living environment founded upon ethics of respect, tolerance, inclusively, and the inherent dignity of all.
Accordingly, the faculty is signaling publicly, and across multiple forums, that St. Mary’s College of Maryland offers protected space within which the pursuit of knowledge must proceed without fear. These efforts are without precedent. But they meet the moment we face. The rhetoric of hate and bigotry injures our learning community in ways both small and large. We do not assume that these public declarations are sufficient in and of themselves to immunize us permanently against the disease of intolerance. We can and must do more. We therefore believe that all members within our community – faculty, students, and staff – have an unnegotiable responsibility to serve as custodians of the culture of civil discourse which defines the St. Mary’s experience. We raise our voices in support of the St. Mary’s Way and in opposition to bigotry, discrimination, and bias. We affirm that St. Mary’s College must be a safe space for all who seek a home in a learning environment that gives paramount value to the principles of the equal worth and the equal protection of all of its members. We challenge ourselves to openly acknowledge, discuss, and tackle the institutional policies, interpersonal practices, and individual biases which undercut our stated commitment to the equal worth and protection of all members of this community.
passed by the Faculty on April 26, 2016
The undersigned faculty members of the Department of Theater, Film, and Media Studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland wish to speak out publicly against recent intolerant and threatening behavior on campus. Our department includes, as part of its mission, creating works of theater, performance, dance, and media that educate our students and enrich and draw from the diverse cultural life of our community; we are committed to nurturing socially engaged scholars, artists, and audiences. These goals mean that we value creative work and scholarship that raises questions, expresses people’s experience, ideas and feelings, and engenders rigorous and passionate debate. It is our belief that acts of hate, intolerance, and violence damage our community and interfere with the work all of SMCM hopes to achieve. Such actions and words create a toxic, fearful environment and stifle the kind of remarkable intellectual growth, transformation, and creativity of which our students and the St. Mary’s College Community are capable. We want this -- our students’ home and our community -- to be a place of tolerance, acceptance, and empathy, but not a place that tolerates or accepts disrespectful, violent, hurtful and dangerous speech or action.
Joanne Klein, Chair
Mark A. Rhoda
Merideth Taylor, emerita
Michael Ellis-Tolaydo, emeritus
The members of the Art and Art History Department join the campus community in denouncing recent acts of bias, hateful images and speech on our campus. We condemn all images and language that demean others and that condone or celebrate racial, sexual, or homophobic violence. We especially offer support to students, staff, and faculty whose identities and affiliations make them a target of this activity. We know that such violent, intimidating, or disparaging language and images are fundamentally incompatible with the values of our college. In solidarity and partnership with those who have voiced their opposition to this activity and action, we are committed to participating actively in efforts to address these issues and to helping the SMCM community constructively move forward.
Ruth Anne Phillips
Dear St. Mary’s College Community,
Our hearts are weakened and disappointed to learn of recent events at St. Mary’s that have, once again, brought racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, and generally hateful actions to the forefront of our campus’ conversation. We stand in solidarity with our community members towards whom these actions are directed. Hate and violence have no place here. We know that it requires a sustained commitment from everyone to ensure that we have a peaceful and respectful community, not just in terms of resistance against these particular acts, but also the everyday injustices, large and small, that characterize the experience of marginalized groups on this campus.
As the Office of Sustainability, we work hard to identify how systems of oppression manifest and work against a sustainable world. In order to achieve sustainability, even at the localized level of our campus community, we must strive to understand the relationships between an equitable society, a healthy environment, and our economic vitality. This definition informs all of our efforts, and, therefore, we cannot have a sustainable campus without engaging issues of oppression, privilege, and injustice. They are inextricably connected. As the Office of Sustainability, we are 100% committed to designing and implementing solutions to make our community inclusive, diverse, equitable, and safe for everyone in the community.
Cyrus Chimento ’15, Sustainability Fellow
Allison Pendrak ‘16, Sustainability Intern
Zoey Kontos ‘19, Sustainability Intern
Ben Derlan ‘17, Sustainability Intern
Allison Graf ‘17, Sustainability Intern
Dear College Community,
The members of the Political Science Department wish to express our condemnation of recent actions that served only to propagate hate and bigotry. Such actions oppose our values of inclusiveness and respect.
As professors of politics we know well the way group pressures both in the United States and throughout the world have silenced dissenting voices. We recognize and embrace the right to free speech, but we stand united against homophobic, sexist, racist, or hateful speech, non-verbal forms of communication, symbols, and actions that attack the dignity of members of the college community. There is an important distinction between stating a political view or belief that someone might find offensive and expressing one’s political views or beliefs in a way that dehumanizes or devalues other people. Though we believe that political speech should always have a protected place in in the public sphere, we abhor bigoted and racist speech because it is inconsistent with the values of this institution and this community.
We are committed to helping guarantee that all members of the college community are afforded equal rights to education, intellectual exploration, and everyday campus life without fear of physical harm, directed hate, harm to their personal property, or any other form of hostility or intimidation. All members of our campus community should be able to participate fully in the life of the college without feeling a threat from hateful and dehumanizing language or symbols. We therefore support efforts to further build on a culture of inclusiveness and respect, which will ultimately make us a better and stronger institution.
St. Mary’s College stands as a monument to Maryland’s first colony. St. Mary’s City was a grand experiment built from a belief in the ideals of tolerance and acceptance. Though that initial experiment failed, its legacy lives on in our campus community and in the values of this institution. It is incumbent upon all of us to embrace that legacy and to prove that communities built on the promise of tolerance and respect provide the best opportunities for all.
Todd Eberly, Department Chair
Diana Boros, Assistant Professor
Michael Cain, Professor
Matt Fehrs, Associate Professor
Susan Grogan, Professor
Mary Hall, Adjunct Professor
Walter Hill, Professor
James A. Kenney, III, Adjunct Professor
Danielle Kushner, Assistant Professor
Sahar Shafqat, Associate Professor
Antonio Ugues, Assistant Professor
We, the faculty and staff of the Department of Psychology, condemn the hateful, bigoted, and destructive actions that have recently and repeatedly occurred on our campus. These actions which include racist vandalism, sexist graffiti, bigoted messages scrawled around campus, and destruction of public and private property are offensive, disgraceful, and dangerous. That many of these actions have targeted marginalized and minority groups within our community tells us that we still have much work to do in creating a culture that welcomes, values, respects, and keeps safe all members of our community.
We stand together with the great majority of individuals in our community who earnestly practice the St. Mary's Way. We hereby repeat our promise to uphold this way of life whereby we take responsibility for our actions and we strive to create relationships built upon respect and trust. In short, we promise to foster a community which upholds the dignity and value of all persons and which promotes dialogue and understanding among persons of different backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. We call on all members of our community to reject hateful, divisive, derogatory, and dangerous words and actions which undermine our shared values and the solidarity of our caring community.
Libby Williams, Chair
Anne Marie Brady
The central tenet of the Educational Studies Department's curricular and teaching mission is empowering educators to recognize and respond to policies and practices that aim to oppress and marginalize populations within the schooling community. We are deeply saddened by the thought that some who seek to promote oppression, fear, intolerance, and disrespect have made such a distressing and counterproductive impact on all members of our campus community. Our department includes alumni and parents of alumni among its faculty and staff, and we share a profound disappointment in any and all actions that demean other human beings.
We believe that negative behaviors do not define the whole individual, and we believe strongly in the power of our MAT graduates to help their students who are making poor choices to develop more productive behaviors. Our department stands united against acts, words, and symbols that promote bigotry and oppression. However, we still have compassion for those who lash out from a place of fear and ignorance. We reaffirm our mission to educate our students that only through social justice for all can we all be empowered. Further, we will work to be part of rejuvenating our campus culture through our unwavering support of the rights of all to a safe and supportive learning environment.
Dr. Katy Arnett
Dr. Angela Johnson
Dr. Teresa Filbert
Dr. Katherine Koch
Ms. Leslie Moore
Dr. David Morris
Dr. Lin Muilenburg
Ms. April Ryan
Dr. Janna Thompson
We are part of a community that values: intellectual, creative, and scholarly exploration; the power of a diverse community; and relationships built on mutual respect, integrity, and trust. We also live in the real world, and we believe that by engaging in ongoing dialogue, our community can shape the changing world. We can try to make this world a better place.
As a library, we have a responsibility to be a space welcome to all, where the free access to information and the free expression of ideas foster and encourage open discourse in our community. As members of the St. Mary’s community, we recognize the important difference between expression of a dissenting point-of-view and expression meant to belittle, dehumanize, and harm others.
We in the library, archives, and media center condemn the recent events at the Natty Boh hunt and all previous incidents of bigotry, bias, harassment, and hate speech that have occurred on campus and through various social media outlets. These actions are antithetical to what we want our college and our community to be. We stand in solidarity with our students who are targets of hateful speech and actions.
Veronica Arellano Douglas
Public institutions serve the entire public, and it is our responsibility to facilitate an understanding of the causes of discrimination in order to bring an end to bigotry and hatred. To do so often requires engaging in difficult dialogues that confront uncomfortable realities of the past and present. But these can and must be conducted in a manner that affirms the basic dignity and humanity of us all. The History Department supports the constitutional right to freedom of speech. That constitutional right however is not equivalent to a right to demean others or to practice discrimination without consequences.
The Department of International Languages and Cultures reaffirms the Mission, Values, and Goals of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, in which we define ourselves as “a community dedicated to honesty, civility, and integrity.” Our curriculum underscores the critical value of open, respectful communication and cross-cultural understanding, and we stand in solidarity with the students, staff, and faculty who “serve local, national, and global communities and cultivate and promote social responsibility.”
The members of the Department of ILC find the recent acts of discrimination and hate speech to be deeply disturbing and condemn them. We stand opposed to such acts of intolerance that dehumanize members of our community and to behavior that undermines our institutional values of civility, respect, and inclusion.
Dr. José Ballesteros
Dr. Joanna Bartow
Dr. Yu-min Chen
Dr. Laine Doggett
Dr. Katie Gantz
Dr. Brandon Guernsey
Dr. Jingqi Fu
Dr. Anne Leblans
Dr. María Olivares
Dr. Jorge Rogachevsky
Dr. Israel Ruiz
Dear College Community,
The Department of Physics is committed to creating an environment where ALL people -- regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, national origin, or age -- can engage in an open and free pursuit of knowledge. We believe that every person has the potential to make meaningful contributions to the field of physics, to the St. Mary’s community, and to our broader society.
The College’s mission statement affirms that St. Mary’s College of Maryland “stands as a living legacy to the ideal of freedom and inclusiveness.” The mission statement repeatedly emphasizes opportunity, diversity, inclusion, social responsibility, and civic-mindedness. Maryland itself was founded on the principle of tolerance, and the United States of America came into being with a declaration of the universal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Any actions which are aimed to harm, devalue, or intimidate others are antithetical to the values of our department, our college, our state, and our country. Such actions are condemned by the Physics Department. As members of this department and of the larger community, we will actively work to manifest our essential values for all.
Erin De Pree
The Environmental Studies faculty strongly oppose racism, sexism, and any actions which serve to subordinate, degrade, or diminish others. Words have meaning beyond what individual speakers intend. Symbols such as the Confederate Flag have meaning that is determined by and born from a history of white supremacy and racial oppression. We condemn such words and symbols and stand in solidarity with all those on our campus who have been hurt by their use.
We are committed to helping build a community in which everyone is able to learn, work, and play. All St. Mary’s students should be able to feel safe, to feel welcomed, and to feel as if they belong. We will continue to work to create such an environment both in and outside our classrooms, to be allies to those who are harmed by racism and sexism, and to work to promote justice on our campus.
The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies strongly opposes recent racist and sexist actions on our campus, as well as those who, through their silence, condone and encourage such actions.
We believe that attempts at humor that attack the dignity of others based on their race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality are never funny but are harmful. They do not reveal intelligence, cleverness, or wit, but immaturity and impotence. Furthermore, the Confederate flag, just like the swastika, are “loaded terms” and are born from, and perpetuate, ideologies of racial supremacy. Before we use words or symbols, we must consider their history and political meaning, and the ways in which they contribute to the subjugation and humiliation of others.
We must expect more from each other. As a community, we must stand up to protect others from attack. We must be willing to speak, and just as important we must be willing to listen. We must respect the humanity and dignity of others, not only in the classroom, but in all areas of campus life. We must hold ourselves and each other accountable for the ways in which our actions contribute to injustice, regardless of intention, and even if “only” by the complicity of silence.
As a department dedicated to self-reflection and the exploration of values by which we should strive to live in order to enrich our world, we, the undersigned, denounce wholeheartedly any act of racial or gender bias, bigotry, or hateful speech or imagery on our campus. We are deeply committed to creating an environment in which all students are able to feel safe, included, and valued.
We stand in solidarity with all those who have been targeted and are devoted to creating a community in which all can flourish.
Katharina von Kellenbach
The Museum Studies Program Steering Committee joins the St. Mary’s College community, including our fellow students, staff, and faculty, in condemning the negative actions and events that have occurred on campus in the past week. We abhor any language or symbol that is deployed for the purpose of dehumanizing, demeaning, threatening, or implying violence toward any individual or any group. The destruction of school property, including through arson and offensive graffiti, is, like so many anonymous acts, designed to intimidate and create fear. We offer our support to those students and college employees who feel themselves particularly targeted by these words and actions.
The Museum Studies Program recognizes the power of history and its symbols for shaping who we are in the present. We are committed both to free expression and to the critical and ongoing discussion about the meaning of historical symbols, in the past and in the present. We commit ourselves to an increased effort to provide the space for this discussion, and we look forward to ways in which we can constructively move the campus community forward.
The Museum Studies Program Steering Committee
Julia A. King, Acting Coordinator
Cristin L. Cash
The members of the Biology department are disturbed by recent events of hate and bias on campus which have threatened the safety of our community and stand in opposition to the St. Mary’s Way. We recognize that free speech on difficult topics is the foundation of intellectual freedom. We support constructive dialogue on difficult and often uncomfortable issues and are committed to fostering an environment of trust and respect that is necessary for productive dialogue. We do not tolerate hateful words and actions, which threaten the safety and well being of our community members. We extend our support and solidarity to our community members who have been targets of these actions; our doors are open for discussion and support.
Holly Gorton (Emerita)
Bill Williams (Emeritus)
The Center for the Study of Democracy condemns actions and activities that are hateful and propagate bigotry, harassment and intolerance on and off campus. It organizes events where root causes of structural and cultural racism, intolerance, and economic and educational disparities are discussed and encourages students to join its efforts to contribute to the college mission to create a community that is dedicated to honesty, civility, and integrity. The Center is deeply disappointed with recent expressions of hate, incivility and insensitivity on campus and condemns acts of violence that include destruction of public property and demeaning and degrading behavior toward students, faculty and staff. The Center wishes to remind members of this community that the campus is a place of work for all of us. Any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site is considered workplace violence (The United States Department of Labor).
Maija Harkonen, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Center for the Study of Democracy
With compassion for the anxieties and uncertainties that so many of us experience today, we wish to remind all members of the SMCM community of the importance of listening carefully to each other and of sharing our feelings and divergent points of view.
The ideal of a liberal arts education has long been based on responding to the statement by Socrates that “The unexamined life is not worth living” and there are probably few places as perfect as St. Mary’s College of Maryland to pursue the journey to live an examined life.
Living that journey requires that one be open, engaged and genuine, which in turn requires that the environment be such that everyone feels safe to share ideas and explore diverse opinions in ways that are both honest and respectful.
Deeply saddened by the recent divisive actions of a very few on our campus, we would like to remind the entire community of what you already know: That for St. Mary’s to be what it promises to be we must all be clear about extending welcome to everyone; that as we seek to find our voice to speak our own truths, we must do so in ways that are respectful of other people’s truths; and that it is important to practice deep, attentive listening so that we can respond to each other openly, kindly and honestly.
Creating a nurturing and compassionate community, like education itself, will always be a messy business. We wish to express our faith in the members of the St. Mary’s Community and send you our strong encouragement to let your best selves rise to the calling of the current situation so that St. Mary’s can continue to move forward in its mission to provide for its students and the citizens of Maryland an educational environment worthy of our calling as a liberal arts, honors college.
Michael S. Glaser
The Music Department of St. Mary’s College of Maryland has been angered, disappointed, and disheartened by recent events on campus. Certainly it is only a tiny minority of students who are responsible for creating situations that are dangerous to body, psyche and general well-being of all our campus community, but small numbers can have a big impact. Likewise, this is not the first time such events have taken place here. Still, until we all engage in responsible behavior we cannot fully be the place that we want to be and should be.
While these actions may be mischief, malicious or otherwise, honest disagreements or concerns should be discussed in an open and respectful fashion – an approach that we endorse, support, and welcome.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland Music Department
The series of insensitive acts that have occurred on campus and via social media over the last year are inconsistent with the values and mission of the Wellness Center.
At the Wellness Center we stand with those impacted by these events and strive to promote inclusivity and a welcoming environment that both acknowledges the impact of oppressive systems and rejects all forms of discrimination and hatred.
The Wellness Center would like to extend our support to those impacted by these events. We know that these types of experiences can impact students in a variety of different ways including feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, hopelessness, fear, anxiety, and distrust.
We encourage members of our community to seek support and come together. We have heard that due to the lack of diversity amongst the staff at the Wellness Center, it can be difficult for us to be viewed as a helpful and/or accessible resource. We understand these concerns and will do our best to provide support from a place of respect and solidarity. The Wellness Center is one of several resources that are available to students to discuss their reactions, experiences, and thoughts about acts of prejudice. We encourage you to seek safe people and spaces to identify and process your reactions.
As members of the campus community the Wellness Center staff hopes to be part of creating a more inclusive and supportive campus environment.
Kyle Bishop, Executive Director of the Wellness Center
Anne Harvey-Diggs, Office Associate II
Maria Haugaard, Staff Therapist
Rachel Honig, Staff Therapist/Advocate
Emily Lamoreau, Post-Master’s Fellow
Laurie Scherer, Assistant Director of Counseling and Psychological Services
Lee Skutka, Director of Health Services Margarita Slade, Office Associate I
Dear St. Mary’s campus community:
We extend this message as some of the longest standing current St. Mary’s students. We do not write this message to patronize the student body from a position of seniority, but rather as a group of students that have been apart of this community during several other moments when we needed to come together to reflect, to heal, to support each other, to challenge ourselves to rise up, and to do better.
There is nothing stronger than a community that bands together -- not despite our differences, but because of our differences. We have seen acts of hate carried out on this campus before. Yes, we condemn these acts, and we try to use them as opportunities to remind ourselves why we joined this community in the first place: we wanted to be one of those people described in the tenets of the St. Mary’s Way. We wanted to carry on a tradition of tolerance, to cultivate a lifelong quest for learning and creativity, to foster relationships based on respect, honesty, and trust.
To those who have created hatred in our midst, you have walked into a place that will not deny your hatred, but will rather hear you out, draw in your poison, and attempt to relieve you of your pain at our own expense. Yes, we condemn these acts, but our job is not to condemn them and move on. We must not simply exile those whose views and acts we denounce for fear of having them reflect our community. We are not a protected bubble. But rather, a microcosm of a larger nation that must band together to draw out the hatred and pain with compassion, respect, and love through the very thing that brought us all together on this campus -- the love of learning and education. To appraise MLK, hatred cannot cast out hate, only love can do that.
In order to cast out the hate that often punctures our world, we as a community must not lose sight of the St. Mary’s Way. It envelopes the spirit of our community that we wish to build, it illustrates our commitment to love and respect towards one another and towards ourselves. It guides us through and convenes our individual and collective responsibilities in times like these.
2016 MAT Cohort
The Office of Student Activities condemns the recent events on campus that have perpetuated racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic sentiments. These are not the values that we cultivate and we expect our campus to be a community values everyone. We are committed to making the St. Mary's Way "The Way" for all members of our campus community. The St. Mary's Way binds us together more than any difference could tear us apart.
Our office is committed to reviewing our practices to ensure that we are providing inclusive programs, resources, and support. We also want to be a resource for any student who wants to work on projects that creates a better St. Mary’s. As your resource for leadership education and development, we will strive to provide students with the necessary tools to succeed in a global society.
To the St. Mary’s College community:
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science was outraged to learn of the recent events surrounding the Natty Boh hunt. We are committed to teaching in and encouraging an environment that embraces the “St. Mary’s Way,” an environment that is built on mutual respect and tolerance. We sincerely believe that no matter the person, no matter how they identify themselves, no matter where they come from, everyone should feel welcome and safe in this place of learning.
We, the undersigned condemn these acts of hate and bigotry. Ours is a community built on an accepting, supportive, welcoming, and, above all, safe, learning environment. These actions do not reflect who we are. We stand with our fellow faculty, staff, and students in offering our support for the students whose identities are the subject of such vile expressions and acts on our campus.
Sandy Ganzell, Chair
Alan Jamieson, Computer Science Coordinator
The Office of Residence Life is fully committed to a community where the college ideals of freedom and inclusiveness are embodied. As an office our mission is to facilitate “safe, supportive, and civil living-and-learning communities,” but the kind of incivility and hate being espoused by some can quickly erode this sense of community on our campus. This emboldens our belief in the St. Mary’s Way and the need to engage in civil discourse surrounding important issues that have plagued our community and nation for centuries. We pledge to strengthen our efforts to create safe, inclusive residential communities and to embody the change that we seek on this campus.
Office of Residence Life Staff
The members of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry wish to express our solidarity for those who have had their lives disrupted through acts intended to marginalize, intimidate and alienate. We know of many famous scientists who were forced to suffer unthinkable hate crimes, alienation and hurdles most of us would deem insurmountable. And as history has repeatedly shown, this was solely because of ignorance that can not see past the color of someone’s skin, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual preference, even as these scientists provided so many benefits to our society. Please take some time to think about the contributions of Percy Julian, Gertrude Elion, George Washington Carver, Betty Harris, Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, Omar M. Yaghi, Maud Menten, Patricia Bath, Emmett Chappelle, John Cooper, Lloyd Augustus Hall, and the list just keeps on going. These are but a few individuals who have had a huge effect on our everyday lives and did so under conditions that most of us cannot even imagine. We wonder how much better the world would be if these individuals, and so many others, were not affected by hate and intolerance fueled by ignorance. Our department stands with our community to denounce the hateful and discriminatory acts that have occurred on our campus, and reach out with support to all those who have feel or felt demoralized and fearful from callous acts of intolerance.
Daniel T. Chase
Allan K. Hovland
Douglas E. Hovlend
Randolph K. Larsen
Andrew S. Koch
Pamela S. Mertz
Kelly Y. Neiles
Amanda J. Schech
Troy K. Townsend
As career development staff members, we place strong emphasis on professionalism and work to empower all students to take ownership of the decisions they make in order to lead meaningful professional lives. We believe in life-long learning, and value an inclusive environment where all students can thrive. The Career Development Center will continue to work hard to foster educational opportunities that promote discussion, growth, diversity, and inclusion on our campus. We are committed to the holistic growth and development of our students and wish to engage in productive conversations that support our community and the St. Mary’s Way.
At a recent graduation, the young woman named by her peers as the “quintessential St. Mary’s student” used this phrase to describe her SMCM experience: “I’ve got your back.” That confidence and security resonates with the life-long friendships and bonds that carry alumni beyond our time as students and welcome us back to campus.
We will not allow hatred, intolerance, or violence, in whatever form it takes, to disrupt this bond. Fear cannot fester into hatred. Ignorance cannot lead to intolerance. Anger cannot explode into violence and injury that cannot be undone. That is not the St. Mary’s Way.
While sickening and painful, recent events can, and will, strengthen the St. Mary’s family and re-affirm our common desires to be included, respected, and valued.
Alumni are committed to protecting the St. Mary’s experience. St. Mary’s is a part of us, as it is a part of you. We share many of the same experiences with the larger St. Mary’s Community. We remember the sunsets over the river; all-nighters in Calvert, Queen Anne, or the Hill; bonfires at Church Point; and the tranquility of the Garden of Remembrance. Like you, we found our voices through the support of friends and mentors.
We will not allow a place that is part of our DNA to be scarred. Places bruise, just as people do. But bruises heal, and we stand with you as the ugliness fades and new strength emerges.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland Alumni Council
St. Mary's staff represents a large and diverse population that supports students in a variety of ways. Staff members are deeply troubled by recent negative events in a community that values respect, integrity, and trust.
We take great pride in our work in our campus roles and we believe in respecting the campus and respecting our students. As primary caretakers of the campus we take pride in our work and the beautiful environment that surrounds us. We are deeply troubled by recent negative events that have damaged St. Mary’s physically and emotionally, and feel strongly that our mission is to mentor, guide, and support our students in their daily lives.
Staff has joined in the college discussion on how we can, together, embrace the St. Mary’s Way to make our community a more inclusive environment for all individuals.
We remain open to students regarding any and all opinions. We do not have all the answers, but our goal is to let students, and the campus, know that we stand ready to peacefully and productively engage in the conversation about how SMCM can be an inclusive community.
As the week begins, I wanted to send a brief note regarding the recent Natty Boh Hunt.
As many of you know, during this event members of our community discovered beer cans that were decorated with confederate flags as well as jokes that many people found to be misogynistic, racist, homophobic, and offensive. In my role as Title IX Coordinator I am particularly cognizant of actions that can be perceived as sexual and gender-based harassment, including unwelcome conduct that can create an intimidating and hostile environment for folks on campus.
The conversations occurring here now, among students, faculty, and staff, reflect an effort to ensure that all of us know and feel that we are recognized and respected on campus. The St. Mary's Way, which we as a community aspire to fulfill every day, is one that is inclusive, welcoming, and mindful of every person's dignity.
I understand that these are challenging times, and if you need support, please know that the staff at the Wellness Center is a great resource. More information about other resources, both on- and off-campus, may be found in the Policy Against Sexual Misconduct.
The messages on the beer cans may have been created by members of our community or by others. This year we've talked a lot about bystander intervention, the opportunity to Step Up and get involved when you see something that's not right. Please talk to your friends about what's going on. Consider your role in this community and how you can help us unite and become better.
The students, staff, faculty, and administration care deeply about the College. I hope all members of the St. Mary's community, all of us, feel free to speak out -- to Step Up -- and to stand together to make our campus community a more welcoming and inclusive place.
Thanks for reading and please contact me with any questions or concerns.
All the best,
Michael K. Dunn
Director of Title IX Compliance and Training/Title IX Coordinator
April 7, 2016
Hello SMCM community,