Letter: IU Alum Urges University Leadership to Halt Use of Force Against Protestors

The following letter was shared with the Bloomingtonian this weekend:

“To Provost Rahul Shrivastav and President Pamela Whitten, 

I am a Bloomington resident, IU Alum, and donor to Indiana University.  I serve on the National Advisory Board for the Eskenazi Museum of Art, and the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Eskenazi School of AAD.   My son was the fifth generation of my family to graduate from IU.  Several family members worked at IU – my great grandfather was a history professor, my grandfather was Dean of the IU Law School, and my mother was Editor of the IU News Bureau, so my IU roots run deep.

Mr. Shrivastav, I was present when you visited a small group of Peg Faimon’s Advisory Board on April 18.  Although I was dismayed by the cancellation of the Samia Halaby exhibit, I did not reach out at the time.  Frankly, I now regret this and wish I had insisted on an explanation of this decision during our meeting.  Canceling an art exhibit due to “safety concerns” is a shadow excuse – and to cancel an exhibit by an IU Alum partly funded by the NEA is an affront to the freedom of expression that is a hallmark of art museums and institutions of higher education.

But it is not as egregious as what is happening currently at Dunn Meadow.   I have seen numerous videos, news reels and photographs of students there being shoved and arrested.  They are standing still and State Police are using shields and bully sticks to force them back and intimidate them.  I am aware that an “ad hoc” committee (who would that be?) changed IU’s assembly policy on Wednesday evening – a policy that has served the university well since 1969.  Although I have yet to find a copy of the policy changes online, the 1969 version remains and states that Dunn Meadow is to be a safe area for student assembly and that force will not be used.  In fact, it says, “We believe the University should not use physical force to enforce these rules.”  

So what indeed is the rationale for having State Police shove and arrest the current protestors?  Never have I known the University to act so blatantly against its own policies and to overlook possibilities for positive communication with students. 

I am writing to ask you to STOP this action immediately before any more damage is done to students, faculty and the institution.  This is NOT the IU we are meant to be, and certainly not the legacy we want to create as we “Bring on Tomorrow”!

Martha Moore

BS 1981″

Rate this post

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.2 / 5. Vote count: 14

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Bloomingtonian on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!