Department of Romance Studies’ Commitment to Diversity
December 1st, 2016
The faculty and staff of the Department of Romance Studies want to make explicit our commitment to the diversity that gives shape to our community. Collectively, we have lived, studied, and taught about dictatorship, censorship, persecution, and intolerance; about people who had to flee Africa, Europe, or Latin America to reinvent their lives somewhere else, enriching that new place with their presence, language, and culture; about the precariousness of free speech and the generosity of strangers. We will continue to do so, and to welcome those who come here to study and to share their knowledge and experience regardless of place of origin, race, religion, ethnicity, gender, documentation, or sexuality, and we will defend our right as a community to protect ours as a space where dialogue, kindness, and rigorous thought are at the center of our interactions.
We are increasingly concerned about incidents of harassment and hate crimes in universities around the country and in New York State. We find it sad but necessary to reassert that bias, hate speech, and hate crime have no place in our society, and certainly not in the university, and we will not tolerate them. We will protect our students and our communities, and we will also learn from this experience.
We welcome Gov. Cuomo’s rapid response to these reports of discrimination, threats, and violence with immediate action, especially his efforts with the Education Department and the establishment of a toll-free hotline to report any experience of bias or discrimination: (888) 392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday. If you want to report a crime or fear for your safety, call 911 immediately.