Please see the below email, sent to the Student Body of Montclair State University…
The following letter to the Montclair State University Community has been written by the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry Executive Board. For more information about this Ministry at Montclair State University, please visit their website at WWW.MSUNEWMAN.COM or email Fr. Jim Chern, Chaplin Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the Campus Community of Montclair State University:
We are writing in regards to the bias incident that occurred at the > Newman Catholic Center on November 6, 2008. As the executive board of > Newman Catholic Campus Ministry, we feel it is imperative that we > bring to your attention our concerns regarding this incident on behalf > of the Catholic community of Montclair State University.
The Newman Catholic Campus Ministry’s mission is to help the Catholic > students of Montclair State University develop their identity as > Catholic-Christians, and to have the opportunities to share and speak > about their faith with peers. As a Class II organization of the > Student Government Association, we do this in a variety of ways. Most > importantly we celebrate Mass on campus on Sunday evenings and offer > daily Mass and rosary. We create opportunities for social outreach: a > Bone Marrow Donor Drive, Canned Food Drives, Toys for Tots program, > and Action against Hunger project. We also offer faith-growing > activities such as: Bible studies, Lock-Ins, Retreats, Inter-faith > dialogues, and Faith Sharing. Furthermore, we have many social > opportunities for fellowship, which help to foster lasting > relationships between our members.
The bias crime that took place on November 6 involving a used condom > placed on the doorknob of the Newman Catholic Center was a direct > attack on our Catholic beliefs and teachings, as well as an attack on > a student’s residence and our place of worship. As Catholics, we value > life and in turn do not believe in the use of contraceptives. In > saying this, it is obvious that placing such an item on the doorknob > of our place of worship is extremely offensive and outright disgusting.
As students of Montclair State University, we are often told of the > University’s openness and acceptance of diversity. However, the > cavalier reactions of many people on this campus–including both > students and staff–have led us to believe otherwise. Many have > laughed off the attack, dubbing it a prank and thereby diminishing the > gravity of the incident. Some have even used the incident as a means > to further mock and demean our faith, criticizing the Catholic Church > for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with this issue. The > fact remains that to a Catholic student on this campus, what happened > was an attack on our belief system, and to laugh it off is to belie > the very ideas–of diversity, of acceptance–on which this university > is founded.
As students and leaders of Newman Catholic Campus Ministry we are > saddened that such an incident has placed us in this situation, but > grateful to have the opportunity to bring our concerns regarding the > incident to the greater campus community. We realize that each student > on this campus is a unique individual and it is our hope that as we > bring this issue to each of you, we can learn to appreciate our > differences and stand beside one another to truly create the diversity > our campus prides itself in.
We thank you for your time and consideration,
Newman Catholic Campus Ministry