Reaffirming our Values of Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect

Sent Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018

To the Campus Community:

Earlier today, a group that has no affiliation with Rutgers exercised their First Amendment rights on public space on our campus. They espoused reprehensible beliefs that reflected their hatred for diverse members of our society.

Let me be clear: The rhetoric expressed by this handful of individuals in no way reflects the values of our nation and of our university. They are abhorrent to our culture of inclusion. I denounce the sentiments wielded by this organization.

As a public institution, Rutgers is obliged to honor free speech in public spaces. While I vehemently stand opposed to the beliefs held by this group, I recognize that the right to express opinions is enshrined in our democracy.

Some members of our campus community expressed their own viewpoints to this group. Their protests were non-violent and in keeping with our campus value of open and spirited dialogue. I support these students’ exercise and commend the Rutgers University Police Department for maintaining order.

Assaults on common values and basic decency can be unsettling. Students feeling the need to do so should seek assistance from the counseling services offered by Student Health Services located in the Campus Center. I also encourage students to work with our Office of Diversity and Inclusion to develop meaningful programming for our campus.

Rutgers University–Camden is a place of inclusion and open dialogue. I am very proud that our community supports and holds dear the values of respect and community engagement.

Phoebe A. Haddon, J.D., LL.M.

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