To our readers,
Last week, The Scarlet E-Board received a copy of an anonymous letter addressed to several faculty members at Clark. As a student-run publication intended for the Clark community to express themselves and their opinions, we felt compelled to respond, as well as to share the sentiments expressed in the letter to our readers. Due to our role on campus, we want to acknowledge that we have a responsibility to our community to publish the opinions of the community regardless of the ideologies of individual E-Board members. This is the stance of the current E-Board and is subject to change at future E-Board’s discretion.
The Scarlet E-Board
Excerpts from the missive have been transcribed below; redactions were made only to protect the identities of those mentioned in the letter – no sentiments were changed.
Please note that the sentiments expressed in this letter are not the views of The Scarlet.
I am sending this by post so as to remain anonymous. I am loath to keep my identity cloaked, but given the current atmosphere on campus and the recent treatment of Gino DiIorio, I am not willing to risk similar vilification and possibly my employment by publicly asking some difficult questions.
I wonder if I might suggest a timely topic, an opportunity to examine, almost in real-time actions taken when emotions run high. Specifically, the response to a letter to the faculty written by DiIorio in his capacity as chair of the faculty. Could we have a dialogue about the series of events that led to a long time respected faculty member being attacked on social media, threatened, and branded a racist? How are we all complicit in this character assassination?
Ask some difficult questions
What prompted (necessitated?) DiIorio to write the letter in the first place? Does he not have an obligation to represent all the faculty, including those who chose not to cancel their class for whatever reason.
Is it appropriate for some members of the faculty to demand that their colleagues cancel class and support the rally? Just as people have the right to protest, don’t people have the right to not protest?
Is it reasonable to make the leap from ‘you didn’t cancel or skip your class/didn’t attend the rally’ to ‘you are racist’?
What was to be gained by sharing a letter addressed to the faculty with the BSU, what motive did that faculty member have? If we are an institution that encourages/supports/teaches critical thinking, what critical thinking was part of that choice? And what in the letter suggested racism?
In the broader context, is it acceptable or useful to vilify people who don’t agree with your point of view? At the rally, the one young man who dared to step up and say he did not support getting rid of the campus police was booed, accused of “not even going [to Clark],” and had profanities shouted at him.
As you may be able to tell from the tone of this letter, I was stunned at the response to what I read as a reasonable note to the faculty that supported an individual’s right to cancel or not cancel their class as they chose.
I am sending copies of this page of you, to Gino, and to the Scarlet, though I don’t imagine it will get much attention I feel better having raised the questions even if I am not willing to do so in person