Dear Members of the Campus Community:
As mourning continues and vigils abound in recognition of the
circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Rutgers University
freshman, Tyler Clementi, we must pause to consider that the
well-being of a community is only as strong as its ability to foster
an environment in which all individuals treat others with civility
and respect. Indeed, as a public institution, Stony Brook University
has an important responsibility to be a model of how diverse groups
can come together to achieve a shared goal of higher learning within a context of respect for our differences, dignity, privacy, and our right to participate in this community free from harassment, discrimination, intimidation, or hostility.
Creating a safe and inclusive community happens not only through intentions or policy statements, but concrete action as well. Over the last several years, Stony Brook has taken steps and will continue to implement programs to make the campus safer for our LGBT members and allies, as well as broaden dialogues about diversity. Stony Brook's Safe Space program as well as ongoing work to bring gender neutral housing options in the Residence Halls are just two examples of initiatives underway.
If intolerant, hurtful behaviors are occurring, there are resources in place to support faculty, staff, and students. I encourage all to avail themselves of these resources, for something as basic as offering a compassionate ear, or to seek consultation on issues as complex as discrimination, harassment, hostility or violence. Our counselors in Counseling and Psychological Services/Center for Prevention and Outreach (http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/wecare/) and the Employee Assistance Program (http://www.stonybrook.edu/eap/) are in a position to provide confidential help and guide you through what action you can take so that discriminatory, intimidating, and violent behavior can be addressed. You can also visit the following website which lists support and reporting resources for all members of the campus community: http://www.stonybrook.edu/safe
Please join me in committing to making Stony Brook University an increasingly respectful, safe, and caring community.
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.