Statement of Solidarity
DOS Message of Solidarity to Our Students
Regardless of one’s political affiliation or preferences, it cannot be disputed that the recent United States presidential election has stirred up a range of emotions in our community. The rhetoric of the 2016 presidential campaign was extremely polarizing, and included messages of intolerance, hate, bigotry, judgment, misogyny, exclusion, and fear directed at people who hold minority and/or marginalized identities, backgrounds, and viewpoints.
In recent statements to the University and student communities, Loyola’s leadership has urged us to reflect upon our Jesuit heritage and values as sources of strength and support. Loyola President Dr. Jo Ann Rooney called for civil discourse and a recommitment to cura personalis. SGLC President Mariana Chavez and Vice President for Student Development Jane Neufeld jointly reiterated their commitment to safety and respect for the diversity of our student body.
In this same spirit of support, solidarity, and commitment, the Office of the Dean of Students wants you, the Loyola student body, to know that our office stands in solidarity with the marginalized and oppressed. For even as our democratic ideals demand that we respect the equal rights of all, our institutional values and the mission of our office demand even more. Our Catholic values – in particular the principles of Catholic Social Teaching – impose a responsibility to protect and prioritize the most vulnerable among us. And so to all our students, but especially to those who hold marginalized identities with respect to race, sex, gender identity, citizenship status, faith tradition, ability, and/or sexual orientation, know this: we care about you, we stand with you, and we are here for you.
We care about you.
We care about you because our Catholic, Jesuit identity calls us to be “persons for others.” In the spirit of cura personalis, we remain concerned with your entire selfhood as a core element of our educational philosophy. Accordingly, we are concerned about your well-being, your safety, and your dignity, and we will strive to protect each accordingly.
We stand with you.
Pope Francis has called us to “Learn solidarity. Without solidarity our faith is dead.” In this spirit of “learning solidarity,” we humbly place our privilege and agency at the service of those whose identities would make them a target of hate or intolerance. To this end, we will denounce any expression or act of racism, misogyny, or other hatred, and we will continue to promote values of inclusivity and justice in our community.
Additionally, to our students who are undocumented immigrants, we want to be clear the Office of the Dean of Students will never ask about any student’s citizenship status. Additionally, you can be assured that students who choose to disclose their undocumented status will still be served with the full complement of available resources and services available through our office. You are safe here.
We are here for (all of) you.
To be clear, our services are available to all Loyola students. This includes students from the entire spectrum of political beliefs. We will respect the right of all students to express their viewpoints, as long as they also respect the policies and laws of our University and our greater community.
As we prepare for the upcoming transition in our country’s leadership, we place trust and hope that our leaders will ultimately be moved to govern with compassion and grace. Meanwhile, we will remain vigilant and steadfast in our resolve to defend those on the margins – but we cannot do this alone.
We call upon all students – especially those who do not hold oppressed or marginalized identities – to help us demonstrate that ours is a community of care and respect. If you or someone you know is subjected to harassment, intimidation, or any form of misconduct because of who they are, we urge you (or them) to report the incident to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, Campus Safety, or directly through the University’s EthicsLine system. To put it simply: if you see something, say something. This will help our office and all our campus partners to accomplish our goal of ensuring the safety of everyone.
We know that for many these are difficult times, and it might get worse before it gets better. But we are confident that by working together, we can heal and grow stronger, while demonstrating to the world what a community looks like when human dignity, mercy, and generosity are the ideals that inform and drive our actions.
In firm solidarity,
The Office of the Dean of Students