President R. Gerald Turner's statement on fliers found on campus

Two offensive fliers were found Sunday night in two stairwells in a residence hall and were reported to University officials, who are investigating this incident.

President Letterhead

November 16, 2016

To: Members of the SMU Community
From: R. Gerald Turner, President

On Friday, November 11, I sent out a campus email calling on the community not to let emotions carry over from the outcome of the election and result in individuals enacting divisive or even uncivil or racist comments or behavior. Every four years, there is a losing candidate and one that wins. The fabric of our democracy requires that we all continue to live and work together, whether our candidate/party wins or loses.

Recent fliers, identical to those showing up on other campuses nationally, were posted in one of our Commons and in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, in addition to isolated instances of uncivil, racist, and sexist comments made in hateful, arrogant, and hurtful tones clearly communicate that there are among us a small number of individuals who do not want to live in a united, mutually respectful, campus community. Anyone committed to living a life of denigrating others in some misguided effort to elevate themselves should find another place to live. Such behavior is inconsistent with and violates the SMU Student Values Statement accepted by all entering students. I commend student leaders for organizing to eliminate such unacceptable behavior among their fellow students on our campus.

In challenging times, the country should be able to look to those educated in one of our nation's finest universities to provide the insightful analysis of the nation's events that would guide us to go forward individuall y with mutual respect, even when mutual agreement may not be immediately possible: World Changers Shaped Here!

The entire community must recommit to discouraging and eliminating such unacceptable behavior. There will be many tense moments nationally over the next few months. During these moments, the SMU community must be able to discuss our differences with mutual respect surrounded by a supportive campus environment for everyone. Anything less is unworthy of who we are.

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University statement on fliers found on campus

November 15, 2016

Two offensive fliers were found Sunday night in two stairwells in a residence hall and were reported to University officials, who are investigating this incident.

SMU condemns the racist and hateful message in these fliers. These messages have no place at SMU and are in opposition to SMU’s values and commitment to an environment free from discrimination. Anyone who sees any such fliers or has information about them is asked to call SMU Police at 214-768-3333 or the Office of Institutional Access and Equity at 214-768-3601.

Concerned students have met with SMU’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and plan to meet again.

The fliers in question are available online and have appeared on at least two other campuses this fall. SMU President R. Gerald Turner delivered a message to the campus last week that spoke directly to the University’s intent to support all members of its community, emphasizing that there is no justification for hostile action directed toward any member of the community.

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SMU Student Senate logoAlso, please see the Message from the SMU Student Senate.


SMU LogoPresident Turner’s November 11 letter and campus resources