Statement from Karen Warren Coleman on Facebook postings

April 19, 2013

The following statement was issued by Karen Warren Coleman, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services

This week we were notified about a Facebook page with anonymous comments about our University. The University played no part in the page, and has no control over it. But we need to be clear: many of those postings are hurtful, ugly, irresponsible, and harmful to the very spirit of free expression the page pretends to promote.  I am deeply troubled by the impact these postings have had on many members of our community. All of our students are integral and valued members of the University community.

A diversity of experiences and perspectives is essential to the intellectual mission of the University of Chicago. The free expression and vibrant inquiry that defines us as a community depends on the ability of all of us, students and scholars, to be heard. Ideas must be evaluated on their merits and not on the identity or status of the speaker. With those core values in mind, we are committed to fostering a climate in which all members of our community can thrive and feel valued, in which nobody is demeaned or stereotyped for their race, gender identity, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, or other aspects of identity.

We have more work to do in reinforcing those principles and supporting all members of the community, in the face of any challenges that arise.