Spring 2021 Guide and COVID-19 information

President reaffirms commitment against racism

President reaffirms commitment against racism

04/20/2021 

Dear students, faculty and staff,

As the nation awaits the verdict of Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, I am reaching out to reaffirm that SUNY Cortland is committed to maintaining an environment where students from all backgrounds can thrive and grow as members of a caring, inclusive community. Each of you – regardless of your background, race or beliefs – deserves to be safe and treated with respect.

However, we recognize that racism is part of the daily experience of many SUNY Cortland students of color, and high-profile cases of unarmed Black and brown citizens being killed by police can be traumatic. Many members of our community probably feel frightened, angry and unsure of their place in American society. Please know that you have a place at SUNY Cortland and we support you.

I want to make you aware of the following:

  • The Multicultural Life and Diversity Office will host an online event when the verdict comes out, providing a discussion forum for members of our community. Details will be shared through email when available. Please also feel free to contact the office if you’re looking for support.

  • The next virtual Black Lives and Liberation Forum will be Thursday, April 22, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The topic of discussion will be on language use around race and ethnicity.

  • Students struggling to cope with the mental and emotional stress of the situation should reach out to the Counseling Center at 607-753-4728.

  • University Police continue to meet with campus Black Lives Matter groups to make sure they are addressing the safety concerns of all student constituencies.

  • Campus community members are encouraged to visit the Institutional Equity and Inclusion Office webpage for resources that include SUNY Cortland’s bias-related incident reporting form.

We live during a time of great division that too often results in unnecessary verbal or physical violence. Please stay engaged, remain hopeful and know that SUNY Cortland remains strongly committed to fighting racism in all its forms. 

All the best, 

Erik J. Bitterbaum
President


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