Last week, our nation elected a new President. The results have been deeply felt by many on our campus, as across the nation. Whatever position each of us held in the election, we are all invested in ensuring that CSI remains resolute in its commitment to inclusion and freedom of expression. We celebrate our diversity and the vital role that CSI plays in expanding educational opportunity, particularly for immigrants and underrepresented populations.

Many students, faculty, and staff feel vulnerable and concerned for themselves, their families, or their friends in the emotional aftermath of the election. I understand and share these concerns and want us all to work together to keep a civil and open environment on our campus. Our campus has always been a sanctuary and that will continue. Thus, I urge you to report immediately any incidents of perceived hostility, intolerance, or intimidation to the Office of Diversity and Compliance.

The College of Staten Island’s Mission has always been to provide our students with an environment that allows them to achieve excellence and to embrace diversity, and to provide an inclusive and tolerant workspace for our employees. We are proud to be a diverse and welcoming campus for students, faculty, and staff with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. We remain absolutely committed to these goals, and will have zero tolerance for intimidation and/or violence that undermines our free and open environment.

As I often have stated, institutions of higher education should be the center for serious conversations on difficult topics. The College will continue to support the free exchange of ideas and differing viewpoints, but any actions that violate CUNY’s Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination will not be tolerated.

Again, please take advantage of any sources of support you may feel that you need.  Concerned students may contact the CSI Counseling Center staff, located in 1A-109, for counseling. Faculty and staff who have concerns may contact Deer Oaks, CUNY’s Employee Assistance Program, at 855.492.3633, for a confidential conversation.

In the next few months, we will be announcing upcoming opportunities for discussion and reflection. I encourage each of you to engage in this important dialogue. I have confidence that we can learn from each other as we strive to understand the complicated issues before us and move forward together.