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Support for LGBT Members of the Community

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October 13, 2010

As you are undoubtedly aware, there have been a number of horrific incidents involving young gay men and women across the country in recent weeks. One was the tragic situation at Rutgers University in which a student took his life after reportedly being bullied and having his privacy violated by fellow students. This past weekend we were deeply saddened to learn about the anti-gay violence that occurred in New York.

We ask that you join us in supporting  the LGBT members of the Northwestern University community. In our University Statement of Community Principles and Values (http://www.northwestern.edu/handbook/) we state that civility and respect are expected values,  individual differences and unique perspectives are respected and our common humanity is the basis for community relations. As the statement says, “Do no harm to others is a non-negotiable value.”

Those statements are more than just expectations; they are expressions of our core values.  Northwestern is a remarkable place, one that attracts a truly diverse group of students, faculty and staff. As such, it is important to recognize that members of the University community may hold differing opinions on a variety of subjects, but we hope and expect that those opinions will be expressed with civility and respect. Harassment  and discrimination will not be tolerated at Northwestern University.

If you have been the victim of discrimination or harassment, or believe that someone else at Northwestern has been, please contact the LGBT Resource Center in Norris University Center, the Sexual Harassment Prevention Office or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access. Counseling and Psychological Services on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses can provide additional support and assistance.

Northwestern strives to be an open, inclusive and welcoming community. Achieving that requires the active engagement and participation of all of our members. As we note with concern and sympathy the tragedies that have occurred elsewhere, we ask that you join us in preventing similar incidents here and in creating a caring and inclusive Northwestern community.

Sincerely,

Morton Schapiro
President and Professor

William Banis
Vice President of Student Affairs