Nearly 80 years ago, in 1938, a former President of Manhattanville College, Mother Grace Dammann, affirmed the right of the first African-American student to be admitted to this institution in an address that made national headlines. Its title was “Principles vs. Prejudice,” and it may be time to restate the commitment this institution made at that time.
Given the concern on many college campuses, including our own, about the safety and status of some of our students, faculty, and staff, I would like to reassure the entire Manhattanville community that we will not allow any discrimination on our campus based on gender, religion, disabilities, political beliefs, or ethnic, racial or national origin, including citizenship.
This is a statement that should not require any reconfirmation, since it is a principle Manhattanville has always stood for and continues to enforce within its jurisdiction. The same principle of non-discrimination is also reflected in our educational practices and our code of conduct for students, faculty and staff.
Should the federal government decide to enact discriminatory legislation or implement measures to deport any member of the Manhattanville community, students, faculty, or staff based solely on their citizenship or any other of the above criteria, we will use the full extent of the legal measures at our disposal to resist such discriminatory policies or measures.
We will also reach out to our congressional delegation as well as local, state and federal authorities in an effort to help us prevent our campus from becoming a hostile environment for international students, faculty, or staff.
Should the federal government decide to use its executive power to enforce such discriminatory measures, I pledge to use every measure of nonviolent and legal civil resistance, as well as every public communications channel available to this administration, both nationally and internationally, to make sure that such administrative overreach is thoroughly documented, reported and preserved by the media, for the nation and the world to see.