To: The AU Campus Community
Fr: Gail Hanson, Vice President of Campus Life
This has been an emotionally draining semester for many in the AU community. Our treatment of one another, our mortality, and the weight of national events have angered, saddened and taxed us. We have seen in ourselves both intolerance and compassion – and before the end of this week, we will be tested once again.
AU is aware that Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) has announced a plan to be at our campus on Friday, Nov. 11, at 4 p.m. WBC is protesting AU’s resources for trans students. Trans and non-binary inclusion is integral to our commitment to diversity and inclusion. WBC’s hateful rhetoric, discriminatory perspectives, and tactics of provocation and intimidation are antithetical to our institutional values.
WBC is not sponsored by any office or organization affiliated with AU, and it will not be allowed on campus property. The organization may stand on public sidewalks adjacent to the campus. We anticipate their choosing the area outside of Glover Gate. Efforts to preserve personal safety and university operations will be led by AU Public Safety.
Campus Life staff and colleagues are supporting student groups that have chosen alternatives to active engagement with WBC and also will be present in the demonstration area to ensure that students who elect to protest are not provoked into harmful encounters with WBC members.
On Friday, we need to go high – restraint, solidarity, dedication to human dignity.