Dean Denise A. Seachrist: Hate has No Home at Kent State Stark

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020

Dear Stark Campus community,
We take the right to free speech seriously. As Stark County’s public university, we welcome and encourage all forms of expression, with the exception of one. 
Hate has no place here. 
While some of you may be unfamiliar with the rock at the Kent Campus, many of you know that it has served as an icon of strength and a canvas for freedom of speech since the 1930s. In recent days, the rock has served as a tool for the cowardly delivery of hate speech. For that, we do not stand. 
We recognize and support the tenets of free speech, but there is a difference between hate speech, which flies in the face of our caring and compassionate community. 
What happens at the Kent Campus affects our entire university system. After all, we are one Kent State University, united by our academic pursuits. We are here to learn and grow, and prompt positive change. We, too, want to make a statement.  
We are encouraging our Stark Campus students to participate in this evening’s town hall, “Strategizing for Change: Revising the Rock”. The Town Hall is scheduled for 5 p.m. today, Sept. 10.

A Town Hall for Action Against Racism for administrators, faculty, and staff, will be organized at a later date.
We look forward to an event organized by Stark Campus students Jaylon Smith, president of the Black Student Union, and Deborah Belintani Rosa, president of our International Students Organization. The goal of this student-organized event is to bring our campus together peacefully to send the message that, indeed, “Hate has no home here.”
While we do not have “The Rock” at Kent State University at Stark, we have a strong foundation. It is one built upon the Kent core values of kindness, respect, and purpose in all that we do. On that, we stand.

Denise A. Seachrist, Ph.D.
Dean and Chief Administrative Officer
Kent State University at Stark


POSTED: Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 8:45am
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 3:02pm
Kent State University at Stark