A recent vote by the University of Michigan Central Student Government Assembly to indefinitely postpone a resolution regarding university investments has sparked a protest, sit-in and strong feelings from those on all sides of the issue.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind all students of the University’s commitment to mutual respect, tolerance and the free expression of diverse points of view.
Statement by Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
A core value of the University of Michigan is respect for diverse ideas and viewpoints. Today we reiterate that core value expressed in the university’s policy on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression: http://spg.umich.edu/policy/601.01.
This value is never more important than when addressing issues raised by students. It is important to understand how students on all sides of an issue think and are affected while remaining mindful of our campus ethos of civility and respect.
Intolerance has no place at Michigan. However, individual behaviors can fall short of our common expectation. Because of the strong feelings on all sides of this issue, some students have told us they feel targeted for their religious or cultural identities or for their involvement in this issue. In these instances the University provides resources and support for students and continues to promote a healthy and respectful environment for discussion through sustained educational efforts.
Achieving our goal of being the open and inclusive community we strive to be requires the commitment of the campus community. Today we call on every member of that community to recommit to this effort to ensure that our university is a place for strong views and opposing viewpoints offered in a culture of mutual respect.
E. Royster Harper
Vice President for Student Life
Laura Blake Jones
Dean of Students
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are the protesting students protesting peacefully?
A. Yes. Palestinian students, the Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) student organization and their allies are protesting peacefully in the Central Student Government offices at the Michigan Union and have respected the space.
Q. Why are the students protesting?
A. In their statement, Palestinian students explain that they and their allies are protesting because they want CSG to debate divestment.
Q. Do students have the right to challenge the university’s investment decisions?
A. Yes. Students often challenge the university’s practices and decisions. U-M teaches and encourages students to think critically.