A Statement from the President on the DACA Executive Order

TO: University Community
FROM: Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., President
RE: Statement on the DACA Executive Order

Following yesterday’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) issued a statement on behalf of the 28 Jesuit institutions in the United States, which can be found online at www.ajcunet.edu. This recent statement follows others over the past year, which Saint Joseph’s has supported, to send a powerful message of unity and concern for the status of undocumented students.

Our commitment to support all of our students, regardless of their immigration status, remains steadfast and unchanged.  As a Jesuit, Catholic institution, it is our responsibility to defend and advocate for the dignity of all human beings. I am heartened by the level of concern and care we show for one another, and I ask that we continue to be vigilant to the marginalized within our community. Students in need of support are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Life at 610-660-1045 or the Office of Inclusion and Diversity at 610-660-1015. Please do not hesitate to reach out for assistance.

Saint Joseph’s University | 5600 City Avenue | Philadelphia, PA 19131
610-660-1000 | sju.edu

 Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity Monica Nixon on Charlottesville, Saint Joseph’s and Our Work Ahead

TO: All Students

FROM: Monica L. Nixon, Ed.D., Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity

RE: Charlottesville, Saint Joseph’s and Our Work Ahead

Over the last week in Charlottesville and other cities around the world, we have witnessed violent and hateful demonstrations of white supremacy, racism and religious extremism. These forces are not new. The insidious effects of racism, nationalism and other forms of systemic oppression impact each and every one of us. To echo Dr. Reed, Saint Joseph’s values stand in opposition to these forces, and our community is one compelled to action in the face of injustice.

On Wednesday, August 30, Saint Joseph’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity invites all members of our community to come together for prayer, dialogue and contemplation of our collective capacity for positive change. Join the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, Academic Affairs, Campus Ministry, Student Life and others in the Campion Student Center and Wolfington Hall. Further details about this event, and future opportunities for community reflection, will be posted on the Office of Inclusion and Diversity website.

Later this semester, Saint Joseph’s will host a commemoration of the 1967 visit to campus by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A series of events organized around the theme, “Our Destinies are Tied Together,” will kick off with a day-long program on Thursday, October 26, where members of the SJU community will discuss how Dr. King’s remarks still resonate 50 years later.

I hope you will participate in these events and share your perspective as our community works to break down barriers and challenge the viewpoints that divide our nation and world. We cannot afford complacency, nor can we risk any false moral equivalency between those who promote hate and those who oppose it. The work of eradicating oppression must be the responsibility of all of us who aspire to the examples of Jesus Christ and St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Affirming Our Mission: A Statement from the President

Given the sudden nature of the recent actions by the federal government concerning immigration policy for selected countries, it was critical that the University reach affected community members to offer support as well as remind students, faculty and staff about related privacy policies and procedures. I am pleased with the speed and diligence of our response.

Today, I write to affirm our institutional mission and values grounded in our Jesuit and Catholic identity. In recent months and perhaps to come, events in our nation have given us cause to do so. Yet, at no time has there been a need to change or amend who we are and what we stand for.

Our core values are strong. Saint Joseph’s University has, and always will, stand for the dignity of all human beings. Therefore, actions or language that deny or demean the dignity of any human being are in direct conflict with our mission and do not represent our values.

Further, our mission statement in regard to inclusion and diversity is unequivocal and our commitment to it is as unwavering as ever:

Striving to be an inclusive and diverse community that cares for the whole person…

It is our intention to continue, now and always, to educate, support, promote and celebrate all of our students, faculty and staff, regardless of their nationality, citizenship, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

It is increasingly important that we, as a Jesuit community, with the utmost confidence in our mission and identity, act as engaged citizens and compassionate advocates for marginalized members of our own communities and beyond. Going forward, let us live this mission and let our actions be our statement.

International Student / Faculty Resources

TO: University Community

FROM: Cary Anderson, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Life and Associate Provost

RE: International Student / Faculty Resources

Last week the White House issued an executive order on immigration indefinitely barring Syrian refugees from entering the U.S., suspending all refugee admissions for 120 days. The order also blocks citizens of seven countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – from entering the U.S. for 90 days. The impact of this order and its enforcement are unfolding, and the University is actively monitoring the situation.

In addition, we have reached out to all student members of the SJU community most immediately affected by the order and will continue to offer them our full support and personalized assistance. We would like to extend the same services and support to faculty and others on campus who may have questions or concerns.

If you believe the executive order affects your study, scholarship or Visa status, you may contact the Office of International Student Services at 610-660-3496 (internationalstudents@sju.edu) for assistance. In addition, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (OID) is another important campus resource. Confidential inquiries can be submitted online via the following link: https://sites.sju.edu/oid/about/contact-us/.

We are proud that Saint Joseph’s is home to students, staff and scholars from around the world. Their presence enriches our University in countless ways, and we are committed to providing a safe environment that protects the privacy and human dignity of all members of our community.

A Message from the President – November 18, 2016

On Monday, I wrote to the University community to reaffirm our values at Saint Joseph’s University and indicate that it is time for us to stand together as a community, in peace, solidarity, understanding, and compassion. Since sending, I have received the most feedback on any of my messages to date. Students, faculty, and staff have shared a range of comments including appreciation and gratitude for what I said, questions about the need and appropriateness of saying anything at all, and disappointment that my message was not more forceful and explicit in condemning acts of intolerance or discrimination on our campus.

As I wrote earlier, I still firmly believe that a clear majority of our community members instinctively do and will continue to promote inclusivity even when we differ, but we are not perfect and unfortunately, we sometimes fail and fall short of our mission and expectations.

It has been shared with me that some members of our community have been subject to harassing or threatening words or actions over the past week. Some are feeling or believe they are unsafe on our campus. Some are questioning the concern and support of the University’s leadership.

I write to state unequivocally and emphatically that acts of intolerance, hate, discrimination, or harassment are in direct conflict with our mission, identity, and values at Saint Joseph’s.  Such acts have no place here.  They stand in stark contrast to the Jesuit and Catholic heritage of the University, as well as basic human dignity. On a personal note, few instances, if any, bother me more than when someone intentionally seeks to cause harm to another or make someone feel unwelcome or excluded from our community.

Violations of the SJU Community Standards, including harassment, intimidation, discrimination, violence, and vandalism will be investigated in accord with the procedures laid out in the student, faculty, and employee handbooks. Incidents that involve criminal actions will be turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

As we work to hold ourselves accountable, one challenge can be ensuring that community members who are victimized report harassment and crimes. It can be difficult for those in vulnerable positions to come forward, and so it is incumbent upon all of us to be strong for one another. If you witness something, report it. If you know a victim or someone who is hurting, support them and lead them to the appropriate area for help. If you are a victim, lean on someone you trust, be they a friend, professor, advisor, or campus minister who can help you make a report.

We are collectively responsible for preserving our values.

Here are some important points of contact.

Public Safety & Security:  13 Barbelin Hall, 610-660-1111

Student Life (Community Standards):  239B Campion Student Center, 610-660-1046

Title IX Coordinators (titleIX@sju.edu):

Dr. Mary Elaine Perry, 610-660-1145 (for all members of University community)
Thomas Sheibley, 610-660-3125 (for all students)
Renie Shields, 610-660-2584 (for Athletics)
Nancy DuBoise, 610-660-3313 (for employees and all others)

Bias Incident Reporting

Additional information about support services and offices, such as Counseling & Psychological Services, Office of Residence Life, Office of Inclusion & Diversity, Campus Ministry, and others, can be found on SJU.edu or The Nest.

Thank you for your continued attention to and support of one another.

Reaffirming Our Values at SJU-A Statement from President Reed

Following last week’s election, events unfolding across the country and on college campuses in our own region have been weighing on me, as I’m sure they have been on all of you. This weekend, I spent considerable time reflecting on how these events are impacting our own campus community and what I might say, especially to students, to encourage us to move forward peacefully, respectfully, and compassionately.

In my reflection, I kept returning to the tremendous faith I have in our community to protect and care for one another, and my strong belief that we will instinctively promote inclusion even when we differ. As Dr. Monica Nixon, assistant provost for Inclusion & Diversity, with my full support, so perfectly expressed in her message to campus last week, “What we do at Saint Joseph’s University is more important than ever.”

And so I was not at all surprised to hear that so many of you made time to come together for last Thursday’s post-election dialogue. Grounded in our mission, it is time for us to stand together as a community, in peace, solidarity, understanding and compassion. We must understand that our own community on Hawk Hill includes those who are celebrating the victory of the candidate they supported, those who are grieving and sense a true loss, and, regrettably, those who feel scared, uncomfortable, and even unsafe. The feelings of our colleagues, friends and classmates are genuine. We must be mindful of them and demonstrate compassion toward one another.

I would like to reiterate my support for our continued efforts to make Saint Joseph’s a place where the dignity of each person is ensured.  All incidents that violate our community standards should be reported immediately.  If you have wider concerns about yourself, friends, or family at this time, please seek out a staff or faculty member and the full services that the University offers.

Lastly, I am reminded of a question that Pope Francis asked his audience during the Mass he celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul during his visit to Philadelphia last year, “What about you? What are you going to do?”  I invite each of us to consider these simple, yet powerful questions. Times of challenge are always ripe with opportunity. Let us face our challenges honestly, openly address what may be uncomfortable and not miss the chance to grow as a community and emerge even stronger.


Dr. Nixon’s Post-Election Statement

I spent much of the day yesterday with students, faculty and staff processing what this week’s Presidential Election says about who we are as a nation and as a campus. There are those in our community who are celebrating the election of a president who represents change. Others in our community feel bewildered, unsafe and in the shadows, and that should matter to all of us.

The historical legacies of racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, heterosexism and classism run deep in our country, and it is clear that we are a divided nation with very different ideas about what progress means. We must seek to understand the perspectives of all those who have felt left behind during recent decades of economic and social change, and we must affirm the safety of those whose civil rights and human dignity are under threat. If nothing else, this election highlighted the urgent need for a new generation of leaders who are committed to bridging divides and pursuing justice.

What we do at Saint Joseph’s University is more important than ever. Last week Dr. Reed wrote a letter to the SJU community in the The Hawk, in which he shared, “Your Jesuit education sharpens your intellect, tunes your moral compass, and calls you to be active and engaged citizens and forces for good in the world.” Our world faces very real challenges, which was the case last week and last year and long before that. As a Catholic, Jesuit university, we live up to our mission based on how we treat those who have less power in our society.

I urge us to be kind, to listen for understanding and to avoid explaining away that which makes us uncomfortable. We have the choice to be a community that is fractured or a community in which each person’s safety and learning matter to all of us. I hope we aspire to the clarion call of the collective, because that is the promise of a Saint Joseph’s education.

Some of us find strength in community, so the Office of Inclusion and Diversity is offering a space later this morning to process together. Join us for “Making Sense of the Presidential Election” at 11:00 a.m. (Campion Student Center, Doyle Banquet Hall South) and in future opportunities for dialogue. I also encourage you to reach out individually to members of our community to offer and ask for support. Take care of yourself, and keep a special eye on those in our community who feel marginalized.

Thank you as we move forward in solidarity.


Dr. Reed’s Statement on Orlando

A Message from President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D. on Orlando Tragedy


Last weekend’s horrific events in Orlando are surely close in the minds and hearts of us all. I write to affirm and assure those in our community who are LGBTQ that Saint Joseph’s University stands with you. It is our collective responsibility to seek justice, combat fear and promote unity.

Members of our community gathered on Tuesday to pray, not only for the victims of this tragedy and their families, but for peace and understanding in our world. Those prayers will continue, as will our efforts to advance inclusion and embrace diversity.

Any members of the community who may be having particular difficulty in the wake of this weekend’s events, are encouraged to seek support. Alex Daniels-Iannucci, Associate Director of Student Success & Inclusion can be reached at 610-660-1105 or aiannucc@sju.edu and the Counseling and Psychological Services Office is available at 610-660-1090.