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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Message from Chancellor Black - September 27

Dear Campus Community,

Freedom of expression, fostering diverse views and opinions, and
promoting civil debate form the foundation of our democracy, and are
part of the treasured tradition of this country's public universities
and of the University of Minnesota Duluth.

I want to provide information to you about a video that was produced
by Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) and posted recently on its
website. The video provides edited excerpts of a dialogue that took
place on September 16, 2011, between a YWC representative, a UMD
student, and a UMD staff member. Because the entirety of the video
recorded that day has not been shared with us, it would be imprudent
to jump to conclusions about the full exchange between the parties
portrayed in the edited video that has been made public.

Some additional facts:

* YWC is not an affiliated student organization at UMD, but like other
organizations, it is free to distribute literature on campus as long
as it complies with campus guidelines. The YWC representative is not a
UMD student.

*The YWC representative was distributing copies of the U.S.
Constitution and the organization's promotional materials. In
recognition of Constitution Week, UMD's Office of Civic Engagement
sponsored several activities including distributing pocket-sized U.S.

*No complaints about threats or violence were made to the UMD Police
Department at the time of the incident. One complaint was made on
September 27, 2011, after the videotape was posted on the internet.

At UMD, we strongly support the staff of the Office of Cultural
Diversity and the Multicultural Center. We place a priority on
creating a positive and inclusive campus climate. Advancing equity,
diversity, and social justice is a core value of our university and is
a goal of the UMD Strategic Plan.


Lendley C. Black, Chancellor