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Skidmore College
Office of the President

Statement about July 30, 2020 events in Saratoga Springs

July 31, 2020

Dear Skidmore Community, 

As many of you are likely aware, two events in downtown Saratoga Springs on Thursday night, a Back the Blue rally and a Black Lives Matter counter-protest, resulted in a police response and reported arrests that drew news media and social media attention. The reports include concerns about the scale of the police response and the use of force against the counter-protesters. 

We are in conversation with Saratoga Springs city leadership to learn more about the events and how we can support our entire community. Skidmore College is steadfast in our support for peaceful gathering, peaceful protest, the right to hold and express different views, and the safety of all members of our community. In these challenging times, we all need to work in partnership to preserve these fundamental principles while pursuing fair and just treatment of all members of our community.  

Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is firm and we will continue to articulate and uphold those values. In addition, I have been very clear about my and the College's commitment to the principle that Black Lives Matter. This is consistent with our core values as a higher education institution, and we will continue to assert that commitment in all our actions. 

Productive and open discussions and initiatives between the city and the College are already in motion. Our recently announced Initiative on Racial Justice emphasizes that "this must be deeply collaborative work, involving all constituencies of the College, including students, staff, faculty and members of the Saratoga Springs community as key partners." We will continue to engage with community leaders on this important work to seek ever-increasing levels of justice and inclusivity in our communities. 

Marc C. Conner