As a learning community that prides itself on our diversity and mutual respect, we are extremely disappointed at the poor judgment and poor taste shown by the CU Marching Band in its Orgo Night flier. To be sure, the University is dedicated to freedom of expression -- even expression that can be offensive. But as educators we also have a responsibility to criticize and condemn speech that would surely be felt to be alienating by members of our community.
Administrators have shared this concern with the band and have engaged in conversations in an effort to hear different perspectives from a variety of individuals and student groups. The fact that band members have agreed to remove the posters and offered to apologize after listening closely to their classmates and peers about the hurt and belittlement experienced from the poster merits acknowledgment.
Our dialogue through difference demonstrates Columbia's highest values. Along with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and other Administrators, we will continue to meet with students to discuss ways in which we can rely upon all members of our community to behave respectfully and to match the great freedoms enjoyed on this campus with an equal measure of responsibility to our fellow Columbians.
Kevin G. Shollenberger