On May 20, President Chodosh sent an email to the CMC community congratulating the Class of 2016 and reflecting upon the developments and successes on campus over the past year.
He noted four key developments on campus: the creation of an open resource center, the adoption of the University of Chicago Statement on Freedom of Expression, the creation of the Center for Student Opportunities, and the development of a computer science major.
First, President Chodosh noted that the resource center will “support all of [CMC’s] students, [in order] to understand the social identities that separate us, to transcend these divisions through direct dialogue and joint action, and to bring our tight-knit community even closer together.” He provided a link to the PSR Steering Committee’s proposal for the center, which listed three key goals: to offer initiatives and programs that will “educate and engage the entire student community,” to “coordinate and enhance student services” which will allow everyone to take full advantage of the College’s resources, and to increase community outreach and engagement. The committee emphasized that the center would be inclusive and open for all, noting that they hoped it would become a space for religious dialogue, mentoring for first generation students, programs related to LGBTQ well-being, dialogues about gender in the workplace, and other programs. Furthermore, they affirmed the center’s commitment to pluralism in thought: “It will not institutionalize a single way of thinking but will instead reflect the core values of the College in focusing on complex issues in ways that are thoughtful, critical, respectful, and interdisciplinary. The center will make decisions democratically based on evidence, and will be student-centered. The Fellows noted that they had received student input and spoken with interested community members on 10 separate occasions to best tailor the center to the College’s needs.
President Chodosh also emphasized CMC’s adoption of the University of Chicago Statement on Freedom of Expression to formally reinforce the institutional commitment to “freedom of speech, academic freedom, and free inquiry in both policy and action.” This statement holds that “the ‘cure’ for ideas we oppose lies through open discussion rather than through inhibition…although faculty, students, and staff are free to criticize, contest, and condemn the views expressed on campus, they may not obstruct, disrupt, or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe.”
Furthermore, he updated the community on the development of an interdisciplinary computer science major and the creation of the Center for Student Opportunities. President Chodosh noted that this center will “create a new, open venue for students to engage, receive advice and mentorship, and explore how their interests translate into real world opportunities both on campus and off.”
President Chodosh concluded by noting the student successes that have paralleled these important developments over the past year and thanking the community for its support as the College works towards future successes and developments.