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viewpoint

Hispanic alumni speak out

| Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I am a member of the Hispanic Alumni of Notre Dame and We Are ND. Just. Like. You.

We write in response to Gregory Jenn’s Letter to the Editor, “To the Trump supporters who paid me a visit,” which ran Feb. 3. and offer our perspective as alums united by our shared experiences under the Golden Dome. We live in every state across the country, work in every industry and serve our communities.

The harassment Gregory detailed in his letter was disturbing but unfortunately not unfamiliar. We thank him for his decision to speak out; it took courage and a love of Notre Dame as well as all those who make up the Notre Dame family. To Gregory and to those students who may be suffering in silence, we would like to say: We see you. We support you.

To our entire Notre Dame family, we understand that vigorous dialogue and honest debate of issues are cornerstones of a healthy democracy. It should go without saying that belief in your views should never lead to the denigration of another. We are reminded of University President Fr. John Jenkins’ statement from last month’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on the three key principles in building a more diverse and inclusive community: respect the dignity of every person, build a Notre Dame community in which all can flourish, live in solidarity with all people, and particularly the most vulnerable

Sadly, those principles were violated on the evening Gregory Jenn was attacked.

We encourage each member of the Notre Dame family to take the incredible gift of your time there to dig deep, engage in difficult dialogue, and reflect on your own bias and privilege. Stand up and refuse to be a bystander. Our mission reminds us that we are called “to assist the world in creating justice grounded in love.” There is no better place to begin that work than on our very own campus.

Each of us was uniquely formed by our time at Notre Dame — a gift that cannot be measured. We pray that you experience the same by contributing to a campus climate where all feel welcome and do not live in fear.

Bianca Gaytan-Burrell
class of 1998
Feb. 12

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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