May 8, 2015
A letter to campus from the following leadership groups: President Lovell and the University Leadership Council, Academic Senate, MUSG, the Office of Diversity, Staff Assembly, Graduate Student Organization
Dear campus community,
Over the past year, we have been dismayed and heartbroken at the sharp rise of incidents across the country involving blatant and sometimes deadly racism. Closer to home, Milwaukee has a wealth of cultures that are celebrated, but still has faced several issues involving segregation and racism. Our location in the city places a special responsibility to act justly and proactively at the forefront of our consciousness. Marquette is not exempt from the evil effects of racism.
Many of you are aware of our extensive efforts to make our Marquette community more inclusive, while embracing the diverse backgrounds that make up our Marquette family. We have taken action by launching a campus climate study of which more than 4,300 students, faculty and staff participated in, which will provide us with a solid foundation. Our President’s Task Force on Equity and Inclusion has been working since January to produce real, sustainable change.
As leaders, we would like to explicitly state that racism has no place on our campus.
As a Jesuit university, founded and sponsored by the Society of Jesus, it is essential for us to recall that “The mission of the Society of Jesus today is the service of faith, of which the promotion of justice is an absolute requirement.” The hallmarks of Jesuit ministry include an engagement of diverse cultures, a facility for dialogue in conflictual situations, and an unshakable respect for those whom the world views as “other.” We must all enter the struggle for rights, dignity and equality, which are anchors of our Jesuit Mission.
We call on every member of our community to do more. We ask you not just to accept differences, but to embrace them. We urge you to not just recognize the dignity of each individual, but to cherish them. And, if you see members of our community who are not living up to these standards and our Guiding Values, we encourage you to come forward. Marquette offers many diversity services, including the Office of Diversity, as well as several Diversity Advocates for our students.
We are an institution that is committed to all forms of justice, including racial justice. Any form of discrimination, including racism, has absolutely no place on our campus or in our community, and is in opposition of our mission as a Catholic, Jesuit institution. As our president shared recently, “We will not rest until all groups at Marquette feel included and supported by our campus.”
As a Catholic, Jesuit university, Marquette recognizes and cherishes the dignity of each individual regardless of age, culture, faith, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, language, disability or social class. Precisely because Catholicism at its best seeks to be inclusive, we are open to all who share our mission and seek the truth about God and the world. Through our admissions and employment policies and practices, our curricular and co-curricular offerings, and our welcoming and caring campus environment, Marquette seeks to become a more diverse and inclusive academic community dedicated to the promotion of justice.
Our commitment to a diverse university community helps us to achieve excellence by promoting a culture of learning, appreciation and understanding. Each member of the Marquette community is charged to treat everyone with care and respect and to value and treasure differences. This call to action is integral to the tradition which we share.