In accordance with our commitment to anti-racism and social justice, the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre stands with Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff who have spoken out against racist-themed student events, as well as verbal attacks and threats of violence against faculty who conduct research and write about reproductive justice, racial oppression, and the LGBTQI+ community. Such acts of xenophobia, hatred, and oppression are immoral and dangerous for our community and society.
In keeping with Notre Dame’s mission, we value a university community that includes people with divergent identities and values, and we welcome a university culture that regularly promotes research and critical dialogue on these issues. We encourage everyone who is a part of our community, including Notre Dame’s leadership, to denounce such attacks and violence, to support academic freedom, and to develop a safe, just, and inclusive environment for research and learning.
Following the lead of our colleagues in the Department of Sociology, we call on Father John Jenkins and the University’s administration to take the following actions immediately:
“1) Issue a public statement strongly condemning the actions of those engaging in uncivil discourse and who direct venomous and violent messages toward Notre Dame faculty, students, or administrators. We deserve better.
2) In a direct communication to ND faculty, students, alumni, and parents, make crystal clear that when members of the Notre Dame community contribute directly or indirectly to this hostile climate, their actions bring disgrace, rather than glory, to our great university.
3) Directly inform any individuals in the Notre Dame community who engage in threatening, harassing or hate-filled speech or action that they are no longer welcome on campus or at university events. This is not just a symbolic deterrent, but also a means of protecting the physical safety of colleagues and students.
4) Defend the safety of our colleagues by devoting additional resources for ND Police and legal counsel to respond to specific instances of online or offline harassment or threats toward members of our community.
5) Reaffirm the University’s policy of neutrality with regard to scholarship and research-informed public commentary produced by Notre Dame faculty, including op-eds. When University leaders denounce or distance themselves from faculty work, the administration makes these faculty vulnerable to vitriolic attacks, particularly in today’s polarized climate.”