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In the fall of 2010, the nation was shaken by the heartbreaking death of Tyler Clementi, a student at Rutgers University, brought about in part by the actions and inactions of his classmates. Tyler committed suicide following harassment and incivility among his peers related to his sexual orientation. Many stood by idly in the face of hostility, intolerance, bias and incivility. Many chose not to intervene.  Silence can hurt.

Neither Stony Brook University, nor our neighboring communities, are immune from such hostile actions, intolerance, and inaction.

Civility and respect are not just limited to grand gestures or organized groups of people. Simple acts of kindness performed by each one of us can have powerful effects on those around us. Something as small as holding a door for the person behind you, greeting someone with a warm welcome, or stopping to help direct someone who is lost are constant reminders that we are in a community that cares.

We call on you now to join us an d many of over 500 your peers and professors in protecting our community against the tangible effects of intolerance, hate, and apathy.

The Community Pledge is a call to action; an invitation; voluntary choice and opportunity to affirm our commitment to one another. It is not a petition, and not a club. Rather, this pledge demonstrates your commitment to the other members of this community.  It says that "We" will stand up for one another. It offers us all a stronger community, a better future.

Take the Community Pledge today.