Open Letter to MSU Campus Community
Recent incidents have caused us to reflect on how to handle issues of race and intolerance on campus. The recent use of Twitter to promote bigotry and intolerance has many wondering how far has the Murray State University community really come? Murray State University is a culturally diverse campus and we have seen the benefits of that diversity. However, with that said, rights are given by the United States Constitution for others to have opposing views.
We can look to the characteristics of a MSU Graduate to help us dictate how we express any divergent views and values within our community.
The sixth characteristic of the MSU Graduate is an understanding of the dynamics of cultural diversity, of competing economic and political systems and of complex moral and ethical issues.
The seventh characteristic of the MSU Graduate is the understanding of the importance of and engagement in ethical behavior and responsible citizenship.
Students should not wait until they have graduated and then seek to espouse these characteristics. Faculty and staff should not only assume students should exhibit these characteristics. We should begin now by speaking out against injustice and intolerance in our community. Many may say this is not their issue or concern; however, it is everyone's issue and concern if we are to consider this a true intellectual community. A few misguided persons should not set the agenda, control the climate, or dictate the direction of the campus community. Remember, "Silence is Acceptance” so speak loudly against all forms of hate. Challenge yourself and make the following pledge:
"I enter this community understanding that I will be changed by having been here."
By accepting membership in the Murray State University community I realize that membership obligates me, regardless of my roles or responsibilities, to commit to and practice several basic principles of diversity:
1. Accept one another
2. Learn from one another
3. Create an atmosphere of positive engagement
4. Challenge bigotry