Letter to the editor 2

By H. Bart Merkle | 2/23/14 8:45pm

Dear Lanthorn Editor:

Grand Valley strives to be a vibrant, intellectually challenging community that values respect, civility, and the free exchange of ideas. While these are important community values, there are some in our midst who choose to act in hateful, sometimes threatening ways. Recent intimidating racial writings and drawings on a resident’s white board on the Allendale campus illustrate this fact.
Whether it is a derogatory comment or hateful graffiti scrawled on a white board, actions such as these provide a sad commentary about civility. As a member of the Grand Valley community, I get frustrated and incensed any time a member of our university family is treated in a hateful or threatening manner – and I hope that others do too.
While everyone has a right to freedom of expression, all of us should condemn hateful speech that is intended to be hurtful to others – especially when done in a cowardly, anonymous manner. The GVSU “Speak Up!” campaign highlights student leaders that are willing to be active bystanders by confronting bias and I encourage all students, faculty, and staff to join in this effort.
I invite anyone who has information that could identify the person or persons responsible for these hateful writings to contact Housing, Campus Police or my office.


H. Bart Merkle

Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

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