Dear English students:
We, the faculty of the English Department, join our voices to Fr. Peter’s and those of other administrators, faculty, and students, to express dismay and anger at reports of hateful speech and actions toward members of the University community in the aftermath of the election last week. As scholars of literature, we are deeply committed to the power of language to advance justice and equality, and we understand that silence may function to implicitly condone violence and suffering. In this spirit, we state emphatically that we stand with all students who have been targets of harassment, acknowledging the acute nature of threats made towards students of color and women of all races. We also wish to reaffirm the incalculable importance of inclusion to this institution and its mission.
As always, we invite every student to treat our classes as secure places to freely discuss literature, ideas, and the historic moment we all find ourselves in. We welcome lively debate and the respectful exploration of all points of view that honor the basic principle of human equality. We also remind you that our majors and graduate student lounges are open to you throughout the week. We are happy to meet with you should you have any concerns about your experience in our classrooms or on campus.
(pdf of this letter including all faculty signatures)