with Zeal..and Focus...and and...Violent Hatred...
DATE: May 18, 2011
TO: The UMBC Community
FROM: Freeman Hrabowski
RE: Constructive Discussion of Differences
A number of students have contacted us to express their concerns about an online discussion on myUMBC that includes negative comments about the Muslim community. myUMBC is an important forum for information sharing and dialogue. The discussions that appear on the site are almost always well-reasoned and respectful and make us very proud of our community. The current comments on myUMBC remind us of the tension that can exist between two values of great importance to our campus and our society - freedom of speech and civility. As a campus, we encourage discussion of difficult issues and wish to protect the rights of individuals to express their views. At the same time, we place great value on, and strongly encourage, respect and civility as we communicate with each other.
The fact that students took time during final exams to express their concerns about the current discussion tells us these values remain strong on our campus. We want to commend them for making an important statement about who we are as a community.
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