The undersigned faculty members of the Department of Theater, Film, and Media Studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland wish to speak out publicly against recent intolerant and threatening behavior on campus. Our department includes, as part of its mission, creating works of theater, performance, dance, and media that educate our students and enrich and draw from the diverse cultural life of our community; we are committed to nurturing socially engaged scholars, artists, and audiences. These goals mean that we value creative work and scholarship that raises questions, expresses people’s experience, ideas and feelings, and engenders rigorous and passionate debate. It is our belief that acts of hate, intolerance, and violence damage our community and interfere with the work all of SMCM hopes to achieve. Such actions and words create a toxic, fearful environment and stifle the kind of remarkable intellectual growth, transformation, and creativity of which our students and the St. Mary’s College Community are capable. We want this — our students’ home and our community — to be a place of tolerance, acceptance, and empathy, but not a place that tolerates or accepts disrespectful, violent, hurtful and dangerous speech or action.
Joanne Klein, Chair
Mark A. Rhoda
Merideth Taylor, emerita
Michael Ellis-Tolaydo, emeritus