Oct. 30, 2017

Administration's first reaction leads to strong backlash

The President’s Office made an official statement around 5 p.m. on Oct. 16, five days after the original sighting of the posters.

In the statement emailed to students, faculty and staff, Cleveland State University President Ronald Berkman said, “CSU remains fully committed to a campus community that respects all individuals, regardless of age, race, color, religious, national origin, sexual orientation and other historical bases for discrimination.”

The email continued, “CSU is also committed to upholding the First Amendment, even with regard to controversial issues where opinion is divided.”

The president’s statement addressing the issue regarding freedom of speech on campus resulted in criticism by many in the Cleveland State community, and led to questions about how to handle situations that involve possible “hate speech” and general safety of campus communities.

A day later, the president’s office released an additional email re-addressing the situation.

In the new email sent out on Oct. 17, Berkman wrote, “I wanted to acknowledge that yesterday I failed to express my personal outrage over a recent incident involving an anti-LGBTQ poster that was recently posted on campus.”



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