University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel sent an email out to students regarding the situation surrounding Charlottesville, where white supremacists marched and violently clashed with counter-protesters. Schlissel wrote he supported all those who supported “peace, tolerance, equality, and unity in our nation.”
“The actions of the hate groups and white supremacists who caused death and injury in Charlottesville are a horrific reminder that there are those among us who would use our differences in the name of evil,” he wrote. “Their despicable bigotry is antithetical to our values at the University of Michigan and to all we hold dear as an academic community.”
Schlissel referenced a bias incident in which racist graffiti was found in the bathroom of the University Biological Station. The Division of Public Safety and Security are currently looking into the situation, he wrote. In Ann Arbor, a Concordia University building and then a skate park were vandalized with racist, anti-Semitic graffiti.
“The next two weeks will see thousands of students moving back to Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint,” he wrote. “I hope we will all take the time to consider how the Charlottesville tragedy and other hateful and terrorist attacks profoundly affect members of our community.”
Counseling and Psychological Services also released a statement, in the same email, regarding hate speech on campus.
“Since this is just the most recent of many situations that have demonstrated hatred toward marginalized groups, we must acknowledge the frustration, exhaustion, rage and other feelings that grow with each event,” the organization wrote. “We speak out against all hate, prejudice, bigotry and every ‘ism.’ “
Schissel commended the vigil on the Diag, held on the day after the Charlottesville violence.
“I hope we will always continue to embrace unity and peace,” he wrote. “These are the ideals we strive to live up to at the University of Michigan, and they represent the values that have brought us all together at our 200-year-old public university.”