From the Desk of the President (June 5, 2020)
To the York College Community:
Racist social media postings made by several York College students are now circulating among our community. This reflects a national trend by some at colleges and universities intended to expose individuals with racist views. Those circulating here, in particular one that uses a racial slur, cut deeply into the collective soul of our community. Whether they were done in jest or to make a political statement does not matter. Let me be clear. It is not okay. It is not acceptable. There is no place for this at York College.
Recent actions and resulting protests demonstrate the repercussions of the deep wounds of racism in our country. They also demonstrate the banding together of people of different races and ethnicities to call for justice and change.
At York College, we strive to create an environment in which each member is valued and each member can achieve his or her best self. This is not the case for everyone; it cannot occur in an environment of racism whether blatant or veiled.
There are two immediate steps I am taking regarding these recent events. I have initiated an investigation to determine any violations of the York College Student Code of Conduct. This provides a process by which students can be held accountable for their actions through appropriate sanctions, with an emphasis first on educating them on problems inherent to their behavior. I have also scheduled the first of what will become many dialogues with students to listen and learn as a step toward healing and change.
The roots of racism run deep in our society. Together, we will not allow it to fester here.
Pamela Gunter-Smith, Ph.D.