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President Ettling Speaks Out on Cardinal Points Illustration

The following statement was sent to the campus community on Monday, Oct. 26 by SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling.

Dear Campus Community, 

The front-page illustration in Friday's edition of the Cardinal Points student newspaper does not reflect a range of values SUNY Plattsburgh holds dear. Rather, as the editors of Cardinal Points indicated in their own written apology, the cartoon features "offensive and stereotypical elements that misrepresent African ¬American students." It is also personally offensive to me.

While the student newspaper is produced independent of any editorial control by the college, it still purports to represent us as it is distributed in the community and around campus. As such, we are all included in the eyes of some who will look upon us collectively in what we think and say about this.

Here's what they should know: As indicated in the newspaper's accompanying article in the same issue, SUNY Plattsburgh is committed to recruiting a diverse mix of students who can benefit from a meaningful and wide educational experience for all students. Among our strategic goals is promoting a campus that increases global experiences and multicultural opportunities. We mean what we say.

We work hard — and must work harder — to promote a campus culture that understands diverse viewpoints, historical context and the humanity that rests in each student, faculty and staff member.

I encourage continuing conversations about the broader matters of race, community and inclusion. An open meeting being coordinated by AKEBA and held at 9 p.m. tonight (Monday) in the Warren Ballrooms, Angell College Center is one aspect of this. There will be more to come.

John Ettling

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