On Hearing You Might Transfer

To a student of color, on hearing you might transfer:

Dear Student,

Recently we learned you have become so disheartened by racism at Notre Dame that you are considering transferring to another school.

We were told you and other students received several racist messages on Yik Yak, the social media app that allows people to post anonymous messages for others to read. We don’t subscribe to Yik Yak, but one of our students shared one of the messages you saw.

We were sickened. The message was racist, and it was infuriating. As awful as it was, we understand this may not be the only instance of racism you have encountered on the Notre Dame campus. So we can understand why you might want to leave. And we support, categorically, your right to make decisions that will enable you to feel safe, to flourish and to be happy — whatever those decisions might be.

We write this letter to share our thoughts with you and other students of color as you consider the future. We want you to know:

Your faculty and staff care about you. We want to do everything we can to help you learn, grow and thrive at Notre Dame. We want to teach you, and we want to learn from you. And we will do all we can to help you feel that Notre Dame is truly your home. You have allies among your fellow students. As tragic as it is that some Notre Dame students are so lost in personal webs of ignorance and fear, many more students believe in the Notre Dame mission of promoting learning in the service of justice. The student who showed us the racist message was distraught at the thought you might leave. That student and others like her are your allies and your friends. You make Notre Dame a better place. Diversity in all of its expressions, whether racial, ethnic, economic, linguistic, aesthetic or other forms, makes for a stronger, smarter, more wholly human community. While it is not your responsibility to make Notre Dame a better place, we want you to know that your presence in this university matters. You belong here. When you received your letter from the admissions office telling you that you had been accepted to Notre Dame, this became your university. The library, the dorms, the classrooms — these are your places. The quads, the lakes, the Grotto — they are here for you. No one has the right to take these from you, and no one can. Let the haters leave, if that’s what they choose. We will wish them better days and hope they someday learn to love others as God intended. Notre Dame belongs to you, not them. Why should you leave? As you well know, a hallmark of the United States’ past is institutionalized racism; and the struggle for justice and equality continues. The racist message you received makes clear that that struggle is taking place, too, at Notre Dame.

We write as Notre Dame faculty members to say your struggle is our struggle. We will stand beside you, and we will denounce all forms of hate speech as intolerable and unacceptable.

We wish you everything good as you consider your bright future, and we offer you our support.

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Date: 01.20.2015
Signed by: John Duffy, English
Francisco Aragon, Institute for Latino Studies
Doug Archer, Hesburgh Libraries
Zygmunt G. Barański, Romance Languages & Literatures
Katrina Barron, Mathematics
Ted Barron, Film, Television and Theatre
Kevin Barry, Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning
Laura Bayard, Hesburgh Libraries
Judy Benchaar, Romance Languages & Literatures
Ann Primus Berends, Education, Schooling and Society
Mark Berends, Sociology
Anne H. Berry, Art, Art History, and Design
Patricia Blanchette, Philosophy
Emily Block, Mendoza College of Business
Susan Blum, Anthropology
Catherine Bolten, Anthropology and Peace Studies
Melissa Marley Bonnichsen, Center for Social Concerns
John Borkowski, Psychology
Jay Brandenberger, Center for Social Concerns
Karen Buranskas, Music
Kevin Burke, Alliance for Catholic Education
Joseph A Buttigieg, English
Elizabeth Capdevielle, University Writing Program
Bill Carbonaro, Sociology
Kevin J. Christiano, Sociology
Patrick Clauss, University Writing Program
Aedín Clements, Hesburgh Libraries
Annie Gilbert Coleman, American Studies
Robert R. Coleman, Art, Art History, and Design
Jessica L. Collett, Sociology
Brian S Collier, Institute for Educational Initiatives
Philippe Collon, Physics
Fr. Joe Corpora, C.S.C.
Mary R. D’Angelo, Theology
Jetaun Davis, Recruitment and Communications
Antonio Delgado, Physics
Margaret Doody, English
Dennis Doordan, School of Architecture
Julia Douthwaite, Romance Languages & Literatures
Kevin Dreyer, Film, Television and Theatre
Liz Dube, Hesburgh Libraries
Kathy Eggleson, ESTEEM and Center for Nano Science and Technology
Russell Faeges, Sociology
Stephen M Fallon, Program of Liberal Studies and English
Larissa Fast, Kroc Institute and Sociology
Robert Fishman, Sociology
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Stephen Fredman, English
Agustin Fuentes, Anthropology
Dan Graff, History
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Stuart Greene, English and Africana Studies
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Darlene Hampton, Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement
Susan Cannon Harris, English
Ricky Herbst, Law School
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Michael Kackman, Film, Television and Theatre
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Annie Cahill Kelly, Center for Social Concerns
Beth G. Klein, Law Library
Janet Kourany, Philosophy and Gender Studies
Greg Kucich, English
Amy Langenkamp, Sociology
Kyle Lantz, Center for Social Concerns
Daniel Lapsley, Psychology
Fr. Don LaSalle, s.m.m., First Year of Studies
Anne Leone, Romance Languages & Literatures
Omar Lizardo, Sociology
Neil Lobo, Biological Sciences
Cecilia Lucero, First Year of Studies
Maria Lynch, Alliance for Catholic Education
Joanne Mack, Anthropology
Nicole MacLaughlin, University Writing Program
Judy Madden, Alliance for Catholic Education
Collette Mak, Hesburgh Libraries
Julia Marvin, Program of Liberal Studies and Medieval Institute
David Mayernik, Architecture
Laura Miller, Psychology and Peace Studies
Marisel Moreno, Romance Languages and Literatures
Sara L. Maurer, English
Erin McDonnell, Sociology
Terry McDonnell, Sociology
Mary Ann McDowell, Biological Sciences
Maria McKenna, Africana Studies
Mark McKenna, Law School
Gerald McKenny, Theology
Sarah McKibben, Irish Language and Literature
Joyelle McSweeney, English
Rory McVeigh, Sociology
Ann Mische, Sociology and Peace Studies
Monica Moore, Hesburgh Libraries
Leslie L. Morgan, Hesburgh Libraries
Sarah Mustillo, Sociology
Darcia Narvaez, Psychology
Rachel Novick, Biological Sciences
Felicia Johnson O’Brien, Center for Social Concerns
Sean O’Brien, Center for Civil and Human Rights
Atalia Omer, Sociology and Kroc Institute
Kathleen Opel, Notre Dame International
Iris Outlaw, Multicultural Student Services and Programs
Abigail L. Palko, Gender Studies
Rachel Parroquin, Romance Languages & Literatures
Jessica Payne, Psychology
Catherine Perry, Romance Languages & Literatures
Richard Pierce, History and Africana Studies
Dianne Pinderhughes, Africana Studies and Political Science
Pierpaolo Polzonetti, Program of Liberal Studies
Adriana Popescu, Hesburgh Libraries
AnnMarie R. Power, Sociology
Clark Power, Program of Liberal Studies
Ava Preacher, Undergraduate Studies, Arts & Letters
Steve Reifenberg, Kellogg Institute
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Charles Rosenberg, Art, Art History, and Design
Joseph Rosenberg, Program of Liberal Studies
Deb Rotman, Anthropology and Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement
David F. Ruccio, Arts and Letters
Abby Salazar, Campus Ministry
Valerie Sayers, English
Sharon Schierling, Kellogg Institute
Andrea Smith Shappell, Center for Social Concerns
John Sitter, English
Susan Sharpe, Center for Social Concerns
Amy Shirk, Law Library
Cheri Smith, Hesburgh Libraries
Lyn Spillman, Sociology
Jason Springs, Kroc Institute and Sociology
Nancy K. Stanton, Mathematics
Lucien Steil, Architecture
James Sterba, Philosophy
Marsha Stevenson, Hesburgh Libraries
Mim Thomas, Sociology
Maria Tomasula, Art, Art History, and Design
Steve Tomasula, English
Alec Torigian, Alliance for Catholic Education
Julianne Turner, Psychology
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Ernesto Verdeja, Political Science and Peace Studies
Christine Venter, Law School
Laura D. Walls, English
Robert Walls, American Studies
Andy Weigert, Sociology
Todd Whitmore, Theology
Richard Williams, Sociology
Gayle Carter-Wilson, Africana Studies
Ben Wilson, Center for Social Concerns
Suzanne Wilson, Center for Social Concerns
Michelle Wirth, Psychology
Danielle Wood, Center for Social Concerns
Nicole Woods, Art, Art History, and Design
Maryam Meechka Zomorodian, First Year of Studies