Saint Mary’s supports ‘harassment-free community’
Observer Staff Report | Tuesday, November 28, 2017
After race-related graffiti was found on campus, Saint Mary’s affirmed its mission to foster an inclusive atmosphere, according to an email College President Jan Cervelli sent to the community Nov. 21.
In the email, Cervelli said students should vocalize opposition to injustice they may encounter on campus.
“Hate- and bias-related incidents, including race-related graffiti that occurred on campus this past weekend, are an affliction that undermines the mission of higher education,” Cervelli said. “For the vast majority of Saint Mary’s faculty, staff, students and administrators who detest such behavior, our community needs your help. Please speak out against injustice, racism and bigotry, and, especially, reach out to support those among us who suffer from their effects to remind them of their place as valued members of the Saint Mary’s family.”
A Saint Mary’s education emphasizes the importance of interacting with individuals of different backgrounds and life experiences, Cervelli said in the email.
“We all share the obligation to uphold Saint Mary’s mission ‘to bring together women of different nations, cultures and races,’” she said. “To do so successfully requires respectful engagement with each other. Such diversity enhances the educational experience for all students, instilling a deeper sense of understanding of all people and putting into practice a central tenet of the Catholic character … respect for the dignity of all people.”
Cervelli said the College will respond to instances of racism in a timely fashion to preserve an inclusive campus environment, as outlined in Saint Mary’s policy prohibiting discriminatory harassment against students.
“Saint Mary’s is also committed to providing an environment free from unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation,” Cervelli said. “As such, Saint Mary’s does not tolerate, and specifically prohibits, any kind of unlawful discrimination or harassment by a member of the College community. Saint Mary’s takes prompt and appropriate action to address such conduct and to end a hostile environment if one has been created.”