February 13, 2019
Dear Members of our Campus Community,
Yesterday, several violent threats were posted on social media against a recognized student organization and its members who were appropriately permitted to table in Marano Campus Center. University Police immediately opened an investigation and requested information from the social media host site. The site took down the posted threats and suspended the accounts. The on campus investigation continues. Violent threats will not be tolerated and are not protected by freedom of speech. We will pursue offenders as soon as we become aware of threats of violence or other criminal acts.
The principles of free speech and expression are fundamental to an open society. As an academic community, we know that the building blocks of learning are based on the quest for information and analysis in the context of open inquiry, skepticism and debate. While some ideas and opinions are vastly different from our own and may be an anathema to what we think and believe, I strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff who wish to rebut expressions of others to use their words and voices to add their experiences and understandings to the public "marketplace of ideas" that is the soul of SUNY Oswego. An ill-tempered and threatening response, even if provoked, may very well bolster those ideas you wish to debunk and may make you subject to judicial proceedings.
Please know we will continue to encourage all members of our campus community to embrace diversity in all its forms--diversity of people, thought and expression. And, we will remain vigilant about safety, encouraging anyone who feels unsafe or threatened to let us know.
Deborah F. Stanley
Office of the President
708 Culkin Hall
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