As Carolinians ...

August 23, 2017

As Carolinians, let us be resolute in our opposition to hatred and bigotry. The violence wrought by white supremacists, neo-Nazi organizations and other hate groups has no place on our campuses.

As Carolinians, we are dedicated to the principles of the Carolinian Creed. For those freshmen and parents who may not yet be familiar with our Creed, it is an aspirational statement of intent — one that encourages civility and respect for all. Its words guide our actions as a community of scholars.

As Carolinians, we are committed to telling the full history of our university, recognizing that much of it is challenging, even painful.

President Harris Pastides


As Carolinians, we welcome the healthy and civil debate of ideas. We embrace and protect free speech and academic freedom. We support vigorous discourse and debate, even those public conversations that are difficult and at times hurtful.

As Carolinians, we proudly teach our students to be independent and critical thinkers; and, to voice their beliefs with conviction. On our campuses, you can study the Constitution, the Civil War, the Confederacy, World War II, the Holocaust, the Civil Rights movement and the historical and philosophical underpinnings of each. You can challenge your own beliefs or those of others.

As Carolinians, we will not shy away from thoughtful and considered dialogue about artifacts, exhibits, monuments and buildings with faces, names or associations that may be offensive or even reprehensible to some. We recognize and respect that members of our community may see them differently. We will study the history, seek to understand context, engage in dialogue, learn from one another and then work together toward creating a welcoming campus for all.

As Carolinians, we must demonstrate that our values differ from those historical figures whose thoughts and deeds may haunt us today. We should not be judged by their actions but by ours — by the inclusive community we are building and by our commitment to embracing an inclusive and diverse future.

As Carolinians, we are committed to telling the full history of our university, recognizing that much of it is challenging, even painful. We are preparing to install two new plaques on the Horseshoe — the heart of our campus — recognizing the contributions and roles of enslaved people in the early history of the university. In addition, we will raise a statue of Richard T. Greener, the first African-American professor at the University of South Carolina, next to the Thomas Cooper Library.

As Carolinians, be enthusiastic and excited as we begin a new school year. Be open to learning and better understanding the thoughts, feelings and concerns of every member of our community. Do so without prejudice and for the sake of building a community that reflects our belief that every student, faculty and staff member matters. Collectively, it is our unique individual perspectives that are the core of our strength and success as a university.

 

Harris Pastides, President, University of South Carolina