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Dr. Vincent: Posters Inconsistent with Campus Values

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Dear DDCE Community,

On Monday, staff at The University of Texas at Austin removed numerous posters from buildings across campus which disparaged immigrants, minorities and Muslims. Although we are a university in constant search for the truth and ardent defenders of free speech, our campus has no place for speech that targets individuals or groups based on religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability, sexual orientation or gender expression. We are a campus which embraces all dimensions of diversity.

While we welcome the discussion of all ideas, they must be shared freely and fairly so that they can be properly debated as a campus community. The anonymous posters were inconsistent with our campus values and counterproductive to true campus dialogue.

At this time, we do not know for certain if the signs were posted by members of the campus community or by individuals not affiliated with the university. If you do encounter any posters or stickers which call for the denigration of any member of our campus community, witness incidents involving verbal harassment based on someone’s identity or background or are subject to such harassment yourself, please report the incident to the Campus Climate Response Team. I would like to take this opportunity to remind all that counseling services are available through our Gender and Sexuality Center and Multicultural Engagement Center in collaboration with the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC) and through the Employee Assistance Program. There is also a weekly meeting for international students through CMHC each Friday afternoon.

We are a diverse university that is extremely proud of the contributions of students, faculty and staff from all identities and backgrounds. To ensure the safety and the rights of everyone on this campus, we must join together so that we can openly and intelligently engage in robust discussions and debate.

I look forward to finishing the spring semester, united by our beliefs in the university’s core values that include the freedom to seek the truth and express it, diverse people and ideas and our collective responsibility to serve as a catalyst for positive change.

Dr. Gregory J. Vincent
Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement
W.K. Kellogg Professor in Community College Leadership
Professor of Law