President Pinto's statement on our values, respect and free speech
Dear UC Community,
I write to share a critical reminder that our university represents an inclusive space where everyone must feel empowered to learn, work, grow and thrive in a safe and supportive environment.
Despite our personal perspectives on the horrors we are witnessing and have witnessed in the Middle East, we as the University of Cincinnati must treat one another with the utmost dignity and respect. We must denounce all forms of hate, racism and prejudice — be it anti-Semitic or Islamophobic. These sentiments have no place on our campus or in our society and do not align with our common values.
As an academic institution, this is a place for free expression, and we are committed to adhering to the foundational rights embedded in the First Amendment. We believe deeply that freedom of speech is essential to our pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and truth.
As we express ourselves, however, we must do so in a way that does not degrade, devalue or discriminate against others. As Bearcats, we must challenge ourselves and each other to be courageous enough to seek solutions, while also showing compassion for those with whom we may disagree. It is through understanding our differences that we will find common ground and ultimately a more peaceful world.
Neville G. Pinto