Dear Students, Colleagues and Friends:
Many of us have been concerned as we have heard reports of a highly contested disagreement between a student and faculty member that has gone far beyond the classroom, leading to mistrust and confusion, and a chilling of the campus climate.
We, the advisory board and staff of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, would like to invite you to a series of three forums in spring semester 2015. These forums will provide a space in which members of the MU community can come together to explore our concerns, roles and responsibilities as scholars and learners. The university has an obligation to nurture a culture of truth seeking, academic learning and respectful discourse, and to cultivate an environment of intellectual curiosity and respect. This is particularly relevant to a Catholic and Jesuit university, which is deeply rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition based on the search for truth.
These three forums will be open to all members of the MU community, and will address freedom, rights and responsibilities in the classroom for students and faculty members; how to engage in respectful discourse about “hot button” topics in and outside of the classroom; and creating a climate of respect and deep listening in order to challenge structures that support harassment of any MU community member, particularly as related to gender and race, whether in the classroom, interpersonal relationships or social media.
Details about the forums will be available in January. We look forward to convening this important conversation with our campus community, and hope that you will join us.
Susannah Bartlow, Director
Cheryl Maranto and Jason Rae, Advisory Board Co-Chairs