Safety for All in Teaching and Learning

May 30, 2017
Library stairwell mural

A statement from Evergreen President George Bridges.

May 30, 2017

As members of the Evergreen community, we believe in the importance of open, inclusive and respectful dialogue. Some events in the last few weeks may have been unsettling and painful to members of our campus family. I want to reassure the community that our values around equity and freedom of speech remain strong. I invite all to recommit to empathy, dignity, and respect. 

We know there are a number of communications channels and sources that are contributing, accurately or inaccurately, to the story.  We want to ensure this Evergreen web page will be a trusted source of information as events unfold. Points of contact are available for your questions.  

Safety for all is a top priority.  We are working closely with public safety and partner organizations to ensure Evergreen is a conducive place for teaching, learning and community.  

Here at Evergreen today:

  • Campus is open as normal and classes are continuing. 
  • Students are finishing papers and creative projects, delivering presentations and debating ideas.
  • Faculty are instructing, guiding, and supporting their students.
  • Evergreen Police Services are present, with law enforcement partners nearby, ensuring the safety of all students, faculty and staff. 
  • The college’s essential work of teaching and learning is ongoing.

To respond to what you might have read or heard on Fox News, Bret Weinstein remains a member of the Evergreen faculty. White students have never been required to leave campus, for Day of Absence/Day of Presence events, or any Evergreen activity.

Discrimination of any form is not acceptable or tolerated at Evergreen. Everyone on our campus has the right to feel safe. Free speech must be fostered and encouraged. Every faculty member, student, and staff member must have the freedom to speak openly.

Tolerance and respect are key. Unless we continually seek to listen and to understand, rather than listening to react, we will not fulfill Evergreen’s mission to learn across differences.

Our students are, as always, Evergreen’s top priority.

On college campuses across the U.S. and here at home, conversations about equity and free speech will continue. These are incredibly complex and sometimes emotional issues to navigate. We at Evergreen have the courage to try. With tolerance and respect, my belief is that we can succeed, and continue to learn from each other.