Like many of you, we have been following what has been going on at other campuses and in our own Stanford community around issues of speech and expression. We have been reflecting on how we at Stanford can advance both our unwavering commitment to the free expression of ideas and our equally steadfast goal of an inclusive community.
It is such an honor to be the leader of the Student Affairs division. During my first month as vice provost, I have developed a deep appreciation for how our staff contribute meaningfully to our shared purpose, which is ensuring that all of our students thrive and succeed.
Last evening, during a community gathering to celebrate Diwali, white supremacist posters were posted in and around the law school and near the Stanford Bookstore by a group calling themselves Identity Evropa. They have come to the wrong place. The ideology of race hatred represented by Identity Evropa has no place here.
Last Saturday, a public safety officer discovered a swastika drawn on a pillar of the Graduate School of Business campus. We write to denounce in strongest possible terms the recent incursion of hateful speech into our campus community.
One of the great joys of returning to Stanford has been attending our sporting events and getting to know some of our outstanding student-athletes. These dedicated students are all impressive, and some of the performances this fall have really stood out.
In recent days, there has been more news from Washington about the effort to protect the students and others who have been covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. I want to share a few things Stanford is doing both externally and internally at this very difficult time for many in our community.
On Wednesday, Persis and I held our first "Conversation with the President and Provost" of the new academic year. We started holding these sessions last year, and we have found them to be great opportunities to hear from a broad mix of students, faculty and staff about issues on their minds.
We want to take the opportunity of a new fall quarter to extend a warm welcome to you, whether for the first time or once again. Yet as we write we are also reminded of the challenges facing some members of our community, with the announcement just hours ago of an updated travel ban affecting visitors to the United States from several countries.