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Fr. Curran responds to hate and violence in Charlottesville

AP Photo/Steve Helber

AP Photo/Steve Helber

AP Photo/Steve Helber

Ryan Crawford, Editor-in-Chief

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In an email sent to students, faculty and staff Friday, Rockhurst president Thomas B. Curran, S.J. responded to “the tragic and fresh memory of what took place in Charlottesville, Virginia last week” as the university officially welcomed the Class of 2021. Violence ensued last weekend in Charlottesville after white nationalists encountered counter protestors. Three people died as a result of the violence and dozens more were injured, per the Charlotte Observer.

“Our nation is suffering from the most recent demonstration of hate, racism and violence that we witnessed in Charlottesville just days ago next to the campus of [the] University of Virginia,” Curran said in his email.

Curran also addressed the worry that some new students and families may have as they embark on their new and unknown collegiate journey. “Be assured that Rockhurst will continue to make safety our number one priority,” he said. “We also condemn terror, violence, racism, and other acts of hate. However, I cannot and will not assure you or them that everyone will be comfortable. In fact, as a university, the opposite may take place.

“Expression of ideas, with violence can never be tolerated. However, speech and ideas, even those abhorrent to just about all of us, may need to be heard. If we claim we uphold the the protection of free speech and the expression of multiple positions and ideologies as a constitutive part of being a university, we can expect to experience great discomfort and pain when such ideas are uttered. The allowance of such expression is not an endorsement of the ideology.”

The statement can be found here in its entirety.

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Fr. Curran responds to hate and violence in Charlottesville