Statement Regarding Golda Meir Quote on Campus

On November 2, 2016 the Kent Stater published an opinion piece written by a student titled: “Creating a home and empowering diversity on campus”.  In the piece the student was critical of the University for displaying a quote by Golda Meir on a wall in a campus building and asked for the quote to be taken down. Since then, there has been more written on this topic in the Kent Stater and other websites.

The comments made about Meir lack both proper context and factual basis and therefore present a distorted view of her important role as a respected world leader. Hillel at Kent State wholeheartedly supports the University’s efforts at creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive community on campus and we believe that the Golda Meir quote displayed in Bowman Hall in no way detracts from that spirit.

Provost Todd Diacon responded in a letter to the student on November 10 stating “we will not remove the quotation”. He explained “while I honor your concerns, removing the quote from Golda Meir, which is nonsectarian and which reasonably could be read by many as inspirational, would be counter to our core institutional value of supporting a diversity of cultures, beliefs, identities and thought”. He also advised that it was previously decided that all of the quotations in Bowman Hall will be removed when the building undergoes renovations in the summer of 2017.

We are satisfied that the University has acted in a responsible way and we remain committed to supporting the University’s core values of respect for diversity and the promotion of an inclusive community.

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