Media Statement: Upcoming Campus Events (3/10)
We understand these events are toxic and hurtful for many people in our University community. The presence of these speakers on our campus does not change the University’s unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. That commitment includes steadfast support for those in our community who are negatively affected by these upcoming events, now and in the future.
These events are being organized by – and the speakers have been invited by – registered student organizations on campus. Student organizations are permitted to invite speakers – including highly provocative ones – to campus without University administration deciding what is acceptable and what is not.
Finally, while peaceful protest is allowed, it cannot interfere with University events or operations. The University has well-established procedures to properly handle these situations, and we are committed to working with our community members to ensure they understand our policies and procedures.
Media Statement: Upcoming Campus Events (3/8)
The University of Pittsburgh is committed to cultivating an environment of mutual respect, concern for others, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. These core values are the bedrock of our community and are reflected in our Pitt Promise. As a public university, we also uphold the principles of protected speech and expression and acknowledge that legally protected speech and expression can at times offend and marginalize some members of our community and contradict unwavering university values. As an academic community, we encourage intellectual critique of and peaceful dissent from opposing viewpoints, counterspeech, and disengagement from experiences that do not support personal well-being.
The events in question are hosted by registered independent student organizations—not the University of Pittsburgh. Registered student organizations are permitted to invite outside speakers of their choosing to campus if they follow University guidelines and the law. Student organization use of Pitt property is not an institutional endorsement of the event or the speaker’s expressed viewpoint.
Some members of our community have expressed concerns about Michael Knowles’ viewpoints, including Knowles’ recent statements about transgender people. The University affirms its deep commitment to and support of all Pitt community members including our trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming community members.