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Last updateWed, 22 Nov 2017 8am

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University Kicks Off School Year With Rally Against Hate

Rally Against Hate 1Monmouth University professors and students launched a new school year with a rally on Sept. 6 to support students’ rights to free speech and freedom from harassment.

The rally was organized by a group of professors calling themselves Professors United for a Safe Haven (PUSH), who wanted to show support for university President Grey Dimenna’s recent statement condemning “hatred, bigotry, and violence in all forms” and emphasizing “our shared commitment to building a community of mutual caring and respect, diversity, and integrity.”

Faculty gathered outside of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center, clad in white t-shirts bearing the boldly printed message, “P.U.S.H Has Your Back.” While originally only 60 shirts were printed, nearly 130 professors and campus faculty participated in the demonstration.

Holding the event the first week of school was no incident, as the organization sought to let both new students, and returning students know that PUSH is here for them, and that hatred and bigotry will not be tolerated on the University campus, according to Dr. Lisa Dinella, associate professor of psychology.

 “It is important to us that our students coming into the fresh new year and those new to our community understand that this is an open and accepting environment and that their faculty will stand up for them,” Dinella said.

A number of professors involved in the rally said they wanted to set an example for their students in standing up for justice and inclusivity. “When we model for students how to unify against agendas of hate and discrimination, we are giving them a discourse they can follow in forming their own groups that are speaking up against bias,” said Carolyn Groff, who is chair and professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education. “Many students would like to speak out, but they do not know how to get started. As professors, we are their role models and their greatest champions,” she said.

Rally Against Hate 2Anne Deepak, associate professor, read a statement at the event, compiled by the collective members of PUSH. Deepak was proud to be a part of the event and the MU community. “While many schools have made official written statements post-Charlottesville, I am not aware of any that have had a public gathering of faculty to convey the same message,” Deepak said.

 “As we gathered for our group photo, President Dimenna joined us. We sent a powerful message to our MU community and to the larger higher education community as well.”

Included in the official statement was the mentioning of the University being a “safe space.” Dr. Corey Wrenn, a professor of sociology and Director of the Gender Studies program on campus, was just one of the many faculty members who helped to put the event together.

Wrenn explained that by invoking a safe space, a place is created where everyone is included regardless of race, gender, class, ability, experiences with trauma, or other vulnerabilities or marginalities.

 “They are upheld by shared common values of inclusivity, kindness, and respect, with a firm rejection of violence and animosity,” Wrenn said. “They demand listening and compassion so that all feel welcome. While no space can be truly safe, we can certainly make them safer by declaring our values and holding one another accountable.”

 Wrenn also explained that professors are not simply educators but mentors and role models. “We represent the spirit of academia and the promise of education, both of which are cherished in our country as means of increasing equality and quality of life” she said.

Representatives of numerous campus organizations were excited to see this effort on the second day of the semester. One of these was Joe Johnson, MAJOR AND CLASS vice president of the African American Student Union and president of the MU Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women. “I think it is wonderful that professors, faculty and staff are answering the call and standing up against blatant racism and undeniable bigotry,” Johnson said.

Liz Carmines, senior political science student and president of the Sociology Club, said she felt inspired by the faculty-promoted event. “There have been so many troubling events happening in our country, and I think it is important to set a tone of respect in our campus community early on. It is also great to see our professors speaking out as a strong example of how we, as students, can take action against injustice in our world. agendas of hate and discrimination, we are giving them a discourse they can follow in forming their own groups that are speaking up against bias,” said Carolyn Groff, who is chair and professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education. “Many students would like to speak out, but they do not know how to get started. As professors, we are their role models and their greatest champions,” Groff said.

Rally Against Hate 3Anne Deepak, associate professor read a statement at the event, compiled by the collective members of PUSH. Deepak was proud to be a part of the event.         

“While many schools have made official written statements post-Charlottesville, I am not aware of any that have had a public gathering of faculty to convey the same message,” Deepak said.

 “As we gathered for our group photo, President Dimenna joined us. We sent a powerful message to our MU community and to the larger higher education community as well.”

Included in the official statement was the mentioning of the University being a “safe space.”

Dr. Corey Wrenn, the Director of the University's Gender Studies program and a Professor of Sociology, was just one of the many faculty members who helped to put the event together. Wrenn explained that by invoking a safe space, a place is created where everyone is included regardless of race, gender, class, ability, experiences with trauma, or other vulnerabilities or marginalities.

“They are upheld by shared common values of inclusivity, kindness, and respect, with a firm rejection of violence and animosity,” Wrenn said. “They demand listening and compassion so that all feel welcome. While no space can be truly safe, we can certainly make them safer by declaring our values and holding one another accountable.”Wrenn also explained that professors are not simply educators but mentors and role models. “We represent the spirit of academia and the promise of education, both of which are cherished in our country as means of increasing equality and quality of life” she said.

Representatives of numerous campus organizations were excited to see this effort on the second day of the semester.

One of these was Joe Johnson, senior  and Vice President of the African American Student Union and President of the MU Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women.

“I think it is wonderful that professors, faculty and staff are answering the call and standing up against blatant racism and undeniable bigotry,” Johnson said.

Liz Carmines, a senior political science student and President of the Sociology Club, said she felt inspired by the faculty-promoted event.

“There have been so many troubling events happening in our country, and I think it is important to set a tone of respect in our campus community early on," she said.

" It is also great to see our professors speaking out as a strong example of how we, as students, can take action against injustice in our world.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Mark Ludak.

PHOTO COURTESY of Jen McGovern.

PHOTO COURTESY of Lisa Dinella.

 

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu