(Update: Demonstration ends with on-campus celebration.)

Dear members of the Colgate community:

We are writing to publicly state our solidarity with members of our community who are concerned about acts of racism and bias that have happened on Colgate’s campus.

More than 100 students have been peacefully demonstrating at James B. Colgate Hall since early this morning. We have been with them, hearing stories that disturb and deeply sadden us. As recently as this weekend, a community member witnessed Colgate students yelling racial and homophobic slurs. We are also aware of appalling anonymous social media posts from members of our community that disparage persons of color, and students have reported having to endure offensive remarks. We are outraged that not all students feel fully included or welcomed on our campus.

Acts of racism and homophobia have no place at Colgate and will not be tolerated. Prejudice can devastate our community: it chills the campus climate, making members of our community feel unwelcome, shackles the mind with stereotypical thinking and bigotry, and keeps us from reaching our true potential as caring, intelligent people who are prepared to live in an increasingly global and diverse society. While we understand that many of our peer institutions face these challenges, we can do better. Together as a community, we can and must hold ourselves and each other to a higher standard.

We encourage reporting of all bias-related incidents. Each will be taken seriously, with the Equity Grievance Process used for review.

We pledge to join with the whole community to create positive change on our campus.

Jeffrey Herbst, President
Douglas Hicks, Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Suzy Nelson, Dean of the College