Statement to Rutgers Community in Support of Diversity, Inclusion
To Members of the Rutgers-New Brunswick Community:
I write to you in response to recent statements made regarding Islam and those who follow it. Rutgers University is one of the most diverse higher education institutions in the world. A belief in the value of an inclusive, diverse and cohesive culture forms a major foundational element to make Rutgers a special place.
Consequently, we are committed to a community where inclusion and respect lay a foundation for diversity, and where diversity leads to the free and open exchange of ideas. In effect, we say to all who become a part of our community, “We accept you for who you are, just as we expect you to accept others.”
When individuals feel threatened, when groups receive negative labels, and when entire populations are demonized, the free and open exchange of ideas becomes impossible because the loudest and most threatening triumph.
We, therefore, oppose hate speech, and believe that it has no place in our community. Moreover, we stand with all members of our community to encourage inclusion, diversity, respect and the open exchange of ideas.
Richard L. Edwards is the executive vice president of academic affairs and chancellor for the Rutgers—New Brunswick campus.