October 14, 2016

I am writing to address a situation that occurred yesterday that has absolutely no place at Marquette.

Marquette For Life, a student group celebrating pro-life activities on campus, informed the Division of Student Affairs that its signs had been altered and defaced. Unrelated to this incident, we also learned that university banners were covered with fliers.

Let me be extremely clear. Defacement is not dialogue.

Respectful discussion and even dissent is best done face to face. Our issue does not lie in the expression of varying viewpoints, but rather in the way that this was handled. Our mission is grounded in respecting the dignity of all individuals and being inclusive of multiple perspectives. Inclusivity by its very nature begins with respect.

The Marquette For Life group’s display was submitted and approved in advance, as is standard procedure for any display that appears on university property. We are working with our students to make sure their promotions on campus continue.

We know that differences can and will exist on a college campus, but we also know that we are called to live with values and with principles of respect and civility.

Let’s remember that we are all Marquette.

Sincerely,
Dr. Xavier A. Cole


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The Division of Student Affairs presents leadership awards annually to recognize student contributions to the mission and activities of the various student affairs areas. Students are nominated by staff from the division and throughout the university and are selected by a committee representing each of the student affairs departments and Campus Ministry. Awards are presented at a program held each year in April. Read more about the student leadership awards.