Preserve the Educational Mission of GCC (Grove City College)
#1As a student, I was all in. I chose the school for their stance against federal mandates and distinctly Christian academic perspective. Served as Class Officer, RA, RD, Bridge Editor, Life Advocates President, and member of Crown & Sceptre, ODK, Lambda Iota Tau, Chapel Choir, College Republicans. GCC taught me how to think and lead graciously, which I have done in many capacities, including as Mayor of Brooksville, Florida.
I met and married my husband at GCC, and our daughter and son-in-law are recent graduates.
Pledges of love and honor…
Natalie Kahler (Brooksville, Florida , 2022-03-09)
#4The freedom to discuss racial issues was rarely encouraged while I was attended GCC, but the discussions I did have (particularly in my Rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement class) was critical to developing my understanding of racial issues in America. It tested my views and allowed me to come to my own conclusions. Without that opportunity I would not be as effective a community builder, friend, or support to those I know and love as I am today.
Inhibiting discussions such as those would be depriving students of opportunities to develop their own personal understanding what is potentially the most important human rights issues of our time.
James Moore (Erie, 2022-03-09)
#5I want to be proud of my alma mater, but an institution that stifles individual thought or the presentation of objective facts, no matter how ugly, is cowardly at best and amoral at worst. This entire saga has been embarrassing and disheartening to watch.
Jesse Rogers (Cranberry Township, 2022-03-09)
#9I agree wholeheartedly with this petition’s statements about what makes GCC great and the importance of encouraging thoughtful, compassionate discussions about race and racism.
Schenley Casher (Julian, PA, 2022-03-09)
#10If we don't talk about racism, privilege, and change then we are not actually living the Bible where all children belong to God.
Keli Schroeffel (Oakdale, 2022-03-09)
#13Diversity is a source of knowledge that goes beyond the classroom, and Grove City needs more of it. Moreover, there are ways of learning about race that do not involve intellectual Marxism. The hysteria over CRT is anti-intellectual and unbefitting of an institution of higher learning that is committed to the truth.
-Alexander Welch, Ph.D., Class of 2013
Alex Welch (Orange, VA, 2022-03-09)
#15Suppression of any discussion at an institute of higher learning is an absolute disrespect to its students, faculty, and staff. It is another attempt at indoctrination from a school that espouses its identity as a place of freedom. GCC wishes to maintain its current environment of conservative politics as the only view accepted among its students and employees. This mentality is being valued over the opportunity for its students to think critically and have constructive conversations about more controversial topics.
Sara Goncz (Cranberry Township, 2022-03-09)
#17I want free and open discussion of all topics on campus
Ryan Klemmer (South Lyon, Michigan, 2022-03-09)
#20But test everything; hold fast what is good.
1 Thess 5:22
Benjamin Watkins (Pittsburgh , 2022-03-09)
#21Critical race theory, as a social science model, examines seemingly unbiased, neutral laws and how they can be weaponized to disproportionately affect minorities. Beyond the fact that it is one of *many* interpretations of past and current events, banning crt on campus does not mean students will never come into contact with its ideas. A more sensible position for those who are concerned about crt's place in our culture would be to encourage professors to present the material and allow students to draw their own conclusions. Prohibiting its presence from the classroom only limits the student body's ability to contend with important and relevant problems in society.
Andrew Hanson (St. Louis, 2022-03-09)
#33One of the reasons I transferred to GCC was because the highly valued freedom of thought and speech. My previous college had prohibited any teaching that the administration didn’t agree with 100%. If you started to think differently, you’d be expelled. I’m afraid that if the Board takes a hard stance against GCC’s historical commitment to freedom of thought and speech, we will start heading down that same path.
Hans Turner (Strongsville, OH, 2022-03-09)
#40Growth happens by honestly stepping into our fears, opening up to our omissions, and crossing over lines of limitations. Open non-judgmental dialogue and discussion is needed more than ever to help actively hear & see perspectives and cultivate empathy towards compassionate conflict resolution and understanding of selves and others.
Nikki Fogle Deutsch (Carlisle , 2022-03-09)
#42Grove City is an excellent college that curates free intellectual discussion. A bit of Twitter drama has become a weapon against rigorous discussion of relevant issues.
Jessica Wills (Lynnwood, 2022-03-09)
#46For a college that apparently values "free speech" and "rigorous academics," I'm extremely disappointed that faculty and administration are even entertaining the idea of censorship.
Victoria Livolsi (Blairsville, 2022-03-09)
#47The censorship created by those who connect all conversations about race to CRT is dangerous for this school. I have hope that someday Grove can be a beautifully diverse campus filled with people of all ethnic backgrounds and the exploration of many ideas. However, if we continue on this path of condemning everything about race as "CRT propoganda," we will create a culture of intolerance and fear, not acceptance and Christ-like love.
I am signing this petition to show the college that, as a current student-- not a parent or alumnus who gets all their information second- or third-hand-- I want conversations about race on this campus and am wholeheartedly opposed to shutting them down for fear of being connected with CRT.
Mallory Jones (Graham, NC, 2022-03-09)
#56The students at Grove City need to learn about culture and diversity, especially due to the lack of diversity on campus. Sometimes learning about racism and history is uncomfortable...because it is terrible and sad. This is precisely why it MUST be taught through facts and cases. This class is essential!
Katie Lumley (Erie, 2022-03-09)
#57I support this petition because the college is presented with what should be an easy choice to specifically reject the censorship and indoctrination prescribed by the anti-CRT parents in their petition. CRT is not unbiblical on its own merits. Professors and guest speakers like Jemar Tisby should be invited to truthfully share their insights rather than shielding students from the exercise of studying and testing ideas. The school should not be forced to teach that CRT is unbiblical or make other false reductive arguments. CRT should be discussed with accuracy and integrity as much as it is needed to inform students of how it can be used or misused. The diversity council should not be disbanded. The other petition is driven by misinformation and fear and is damaging to the school. Hyper-political identity is causing a wedge in the church and nation, and leading people down a dangerous path. GCC should remain biblically grounded in the truth, which is of far greater value than politics. Politics and philosophy benefits from honest discourse that can listen to ideas and collaborate on shared goals. GCC has the rights and responsibility to incorporate Christ-centered honest teaching about racial justice, oppression, and all forms and context of racism. The other petition appears to unintentionally show the ignorance of many Christians about white privilege and racial injustice. CRT is essentially a tool to view the injustice of systemic racism and it seeks ways to overcome it. There is a tremendous amount of common ground with the mission of the gospel, and it is arrogant and subversive to use misinformation about CRT to distract people from doing what is right and good. Students deserve a better education than what was prescribed by the other petition.
Ed Crane (Ambler, 2022-03-09)
#61I'm signing because a college/university should be a place where worldwide knowledge, philosophies, ideas, theologies, etc., may be explored and discussed so that skills in critical thinking might be gained.
Susan Irons (Monaca, 2022-03-09)
#62This racial discussion is so important to have, and we need to hear the voices, stories and points of view of poc and not shut down the discussion on racism in the US both today, and throughout its past history. I need my child who attends GCC to be taught these important things, as she will face these issues as a classroom teacher. This is a conversation we all need to be having.
Daisy Crane (Ambler PA, 2022-03-09)
#63I agree with the above statement that students at Grove City College have the intelligence and right to be taught views that they may not agree with and that they deserve the opportunity to receive a diverse and well-rounded discussion.
Whitney (Covert) Wenger (Fresno, 2022-03-09)
#64Discussions of systemic racism present a challenge to the narrative of white supremacy that has long animated both this country and, for much of its history, the Christian church. As an institution that values freedom, Grove City College should be a leader in addressing the hard reality that freedom has not been the story for many, for essentially the entire existence of this country. We should not be satisfied until the Imago Dei is true for everyone. At a minimum, this means hearing from, and engaging the voices of those who have been historically oppressed, even if it causes genuine discomfort and perhaps guilt. Only then is there hope for repentance and restoration. Grove City College should stand above the fray of things like Critical Race Theory being weaponized by some in order to avoid addressing the real issues. That is what a Christ-centered liberal arts education should be all about.
James Downey (Franklin Park, 2022-03-09)
#67I am deeply grateful for the incredible education that I received at Grove City College. During my time as a student, I was confronted with ideas and information that was challenging, uncomfortable, and with which I did not agree. However, those were important learning experiences and opportunities which supported my intellectual, personal, and spiritual growth. A Christian college that wishes to remain credible, relevant, and missional must be able to engage the ideas of the world while also inviting and guiding students to apply, for themselves, the truths of the Christian faith. Facuty and leadership at Grove City College are people of faith and are there because they deeply desire to see students formed as whole disciples of Jesus. Not all faculty and leadership will, or should agree, on all matters of politics or Christian tradition, for example. That is to the credit of the institution, not its detriment. Faculty and leadership need to model respect in the midst of differences; not shut down conversation! Please do not stunt the growth of students by setting standards, either directly or by implication, that limit the ability and opportunity for students to engage a broad variety of ideas. Limiting the freedom of faculty and leaders to teach relevant content is inconsistent with the values of GCC.
Melissa Imhoff-Danielson (Grove City, 2022-03-09)
#70I agree with the statements outlined by Natalie Kahler, particularly "Legitimate discussions of race and racism should not be truncated due to fear of violating a perceived or real ban on teaching CRT. We are concerned that the board's strong statement may place a chill on legitimate dialogue and instruction on campus. We want students to be challenged and edified by an open environment."
April Cook (Walkersville, 2022-03-09)
#71I feel it is important for students to understand everything that has happened in our country and let them make decisions themselves on how to use that information.
Kimberly Gustafson (Erie, 2022-03-09)
#73Colleges should be places for open and honest discussions about what’s happening in the world. It’s important that students and staff feel like the classroom is a place where they can air thoughts on any issue and have those thoughts heard and considered without fear of retribution. This goes for all ideas, even difficult ones with sometimes less than perfect answers.
Erin Behan (Portland, 2022-03-09)
#76I believe that the correct understanding of the historical United States is crucial to not only the education of our youth, but the continued successes of our democracy. Teaching the truth regarding current racial injustices and our country’s history of racism does not at all contradict Grove City College’s stance on vision and values but further girds the school’s legacy of teaching truth and holding to our faith’s most important commands: to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves (paraphrase of Matthew 22:37). I would implore President McNulty and his board of directors to seek the Lord earnestly as they make this decision. As they do, they will find that the God of Creation is also the God of truth, justice and mercy and never a God who is afraid of the sins of human history.
Karen Bishop (Grove City, Pennsylvania, 2022-03-09)
#78Grove City College students and faculty can be trusted to engage with complex and challenging issues and process ideas different to their own without abandoning a Christian worldview. In fact, refusing to critically engage one's worldview in such a manner does not teach a student to find the truth, it teaches him or her to be afraid of ideas that are challenging and seek protection from them. It replaces a worldview with an illusion. Perhaps a comforting illusion for a time, but an illusion nevertheless. And one that is unlikely to withstand exposure to our culture, or the vicissitudes of life in general. It also teaches one that the only safe engagement is through domination and suppression. Not only is such an approach foolish, it is antithetical to the gospel.
Mark Barrett, Esq. (Pittsburgh, 2022-03-09)
#83A peer in a separate program brought this to my attention. If the board overseeing this issue at GCC wishes to bar discussions about racial issues, what does this say about their own attitudes?
Shane McNelis (Pittsburgh , 2022-03-09)
#85I'm a teacher who learned through the education program at Grove City how to teach all of my students, not just those who look like me or share my background. I am saddened to hear that those efforts by excellent professors are being challenged.
Elizabeth Jorgensen (Clare, 2022-03-09)
#100Academic institutions being captured by political trends and enacting censorship is shortsighted and antithetical to learning
Tyler Fehr (Youngstown, 2022-03-10)
#110I am signing this because I think it is important to challenge thoughts and ideas instead of eliminating the discussion.
Jessica Mendheim (Broadview heights, 2022-03-10)
#111I’m signing because we as Christian educators are called to show Christ’s love in all we do. We need to be fully equipped to do so in the world of education we will be entering. It is naïve to believe we can truly show this love without making every effort to know others deeply. We must challenge preconceptions to deepen this love, faith, and human decency.
Jess Mullen (Solebury, PA, 2022-03-10)
#115You cannot be an educational institution if you limit materials to only those that agree with your preconceived beliefs and biases.
Madeline Myers (Pittsburgh, 2022-03-10)
#116GCC has a responsibility to examine white priveldge, which cannot be done without reckoning with this country's history of systemic racism.
"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8
Chloe Shearer (Pittsburgh, 2022-03-10)
#117I want for GCC students to be prepared to engage with the world in life-giving ways that are in line with God's kingdom. Grappling with the reality of racism is vital to loving our neighbor and following Christ in this time and place.
When students leave the classroom to begin their careers and families, they will be better prepared for having begun the work of examining themselves and American culture in college.
Christina (Frye) Hyland (Pittsburgh, 2022-03-10)
#118I whole heartedly agree with this petition. I am firmly against CRT but am also firmly against shutting down healthy and necessary conversations about race due to some strange political fear. GCC must continue to foster an environment where understanding and loving your neighbor is prevalent
Malachi Abbott (Grove City, 2022-03-10)
#125It is crucial to provide students with the necessary tools to think critically about diverse topics. GCC is very homogeneous and many students have not encountered challenges to their privilege or core conversations about race. Even more professors must provide students the guidance and knowledge surrounding race and education in order to equip graduates to become effective educators.
Ashley Carpenter-Winser (Beaver, 2022-03-11)
#127"It is a mistake to think that hearing other voices, whether in chapel or the classroom, is indoctrination. It is an insult to students and an institution of higher learning".
Adelaide Kivala (Pittsburgh, 2022-03-11)
#128I was to be proud of my alma mater and between the lack of diversity, blatant conflation of faith and republicanism, and slide into Christian nationalism, I'm currently ashamed. That said, I also believe in the good of the students and faculty who are aware of these trends and are trying to counteract them. I'm signing this for them as well.
Mack Griffith (Walnut Creek , 2022-03-11)
#129I am signing this because my education at Grove City College has been foundational to my life in the 21st century. I learned and reinforced my foundation as a Christian. I came to Grove City as a new believer, and I am so thankful to have had the guidance of my professors to help build my foundation. My professors in all departments provided (and still provide!) biblical academic knowledge and advice. I am so thankful for them, and I am sad to see the college being challenged on biblical values that make students prepared for today’s world.
Giulia Pucci (Fort Worth, 2022-03-11)
#131The topic of race is extremely relevant in America today. If this class is not taught at Grove City from reliable, academic, and conservative voices, then students will be left to glean information on racial history elsewhere from possibly less reliable sources.
Daniel Christiansen (Bally, 2022-03-11)
#136As a committed evangelical Christian, if GCC had such a policy in the 80s of limiting free speech and inquiry, I would never have directed my intelligent and wise first born to consider this school.
Kathryn White (Erie, 2022-03-11)
#137Sheltering students from the debate doesn’t lead to knowledge, it just generates division and fear.
Corrie Brown (Mercer, 2022-03-11)
Isaac Willour (Aliquippa, 2022-03-11)
#143The Gospel can hold up to robust discussion of other viewpoints -- God is not threatened by it. But academic integrity and students ability to learn, think, and discuss in a safe space is materially damaged by bans on what may and may not be discussed. All truth is God's truth -- let faculty be free to guide and facilitate discussion to this end.
Katherine Peters Britton (North Chesterfield , 2022-03-11)
#145I agree with the statements & position in this petition and care about current and future students of GCC.
Steven Hyland (Pittsburgh, 2022-03-11)
#150I am a fellow educator who is concerned about the state and trajectory of education in our country.
Scott Kelly (Stafford, VA, 2022-03-12)
#152I support the effort to not inhibit truthful teaching about history, religion, and culture, and I reject efforts to stifle teachers' voices.
Yvonne Thayer (Venango, 2022-03-12)
#156I believe that these conversations should not be restricted.
Ryan Braumann (Salt Lake City, 2022-03-12)
#160Grove City College needs to be a place where people from seemingly common values come to understand just how nuanced these values are within their own body before they enter a world full of complexity. Limiting conversations around the realities of racism will not prepare students to engage with broken systems, community discussions, or individual pain. To be effective witnesses for Christ, we must seek to understand and welcome, and this can only be done through a genuine conversation about the tension of our hearts and history.
Caroline Stoltzfus (Colorado Springs, 2022-03-13)
#163I completely agree with all of the sentiments in this petition.
“A Christian’s obligation is not to their tribe, but to their God. A God who cares deeply for all people. And if a Christian’s political ideas and actions are not intended toward the good of their enemies, then their political witness is not Christian in its character.”
– Michael Wear
As a high school English teacher at a predominately black school that is 47 miles from campus, I cannot encourage my students to even look into GCC as an option. By refusing to acknowledge that racism was and still is a part of the US, GCC is telling any potential student who isn’t white that this isn’t the place for them.
Derek Long (Pittsburgh, 2022-03-13)
#164Christopher Rufo, the conservative activist who, in many ways, is leading the “Parental Rights” movement wrote this in March 2021 regarding the conservative approach to undermining CRT:
“We have successfully frozen their brand - “critical race theory” - into the public conversation and are steadily driving up negative perceptions. We will eventually turn it toxic… the goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think “critical race theory.” We have decodified the term and will recodify it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans.”
That GCC, a school that prides itself on being a conservative Christian institution of higher education, might succumb to this kind of activism is both disappointing and disconcerting. One aspect of the conservative approach to effective education is to not silence people, perspectives, opinions, or theories that we disagree with. The best ideas, we’re taught, will win out. We’re not to fear differing, critical, or opposing ideas.
That this might remain true at GCC. That the leaders of GCC might hold fast to their Christian values and not succumb to conservative activists or activism. And that the school’s leaders might demonstrate courage.
Dennis Allan (Pittsburgh, 2022-03-13)
#168I’m signing because I was once proud to be a Wolverine and I hope to continue to be.
Rev. Taylor R Barner (Burlington, NC, 2022-03-13)
#174I believe this petition is spot on!
Laura Martin (Apollo, 2022-03-14)
#177I'm an alumnus and CRT scholar who loves GCC.
Nathan Luis Cartagena, PhD (Wheaton, 2022-03-14)
#179I graduated GCC embarrassingly unaware of race and racial issues in American history and the American church. Well-informed, Christian students need to seriously engage with topics that may be uncomfortable but are necessary if we are to love our neighbors well. It's sad to think those conversations are being stifled.
Rev. Bryan Peterson (Rockville, MD, 2022-03-14)
#180I would hate to see GCC decide it needs to police faculty and the contents of courses due to illiberal pressures from either the political left or, as in the current brouhaha, the political right. Surely GCC has reason to be confident that its faculty and students are capable of reading, hearing, and engaging competing theories and points of view on campus.
David Moffitt (St Andrews, 2022-03-14)
#182Academic freedom and freedom of speech must be protected at all costs. Censoring theories with which one may disagree abandons any semblance of rigor or honesty.
Benjamin Allison (Austin, TX, 2022-03-14)
#183Limiting education and shielding students from the very real conversation of “CRT”, could potentially cause major backslide with our young people and their walk with God. I run a youth ministry and whilst I don’t “teach” CRT, I am open to the conversation, thus allowing our students to have a safe space to ask questions that have been condemned by other Christians. I have watched teens walk away from the church completely because they felt that the church was trying to control them rather than teach them. We as Christians should stand firm enough in our faith to understand that these conversations will not break our values, instead allow us to stand firm while we open our minds to see the struggles that others face every day. It is extremely dangerous to hide truths from one another and I believe God can only heal what we bring to him and what comes to light. The separation and segregation of such topics only allows the devil to continue to stir chaos and divide us.
Bethany Malave (Monroeville, 2022-03-15)
#188Please read about my multiracial family below. Realized shortly after college that a big piece of my education was missing because the topic of race was avoided.
Dominique Newman (Lansing. IL, 2022-03-16)
#191this is important you cannot and should not erase history of any kind
Alice Hecht-Soliman (jacksonville, 2022-03-16)
#195I'm signing because it feels like something unfortunate is happening to free speech and the open exchange of ideas. CRT seems to be a sort of rallying cry that most of us (myself included) don't even fully understand the scope of. The idea of banning - or even just shying away from - entire theories or discussions doesn't seem like the answer to a problem that doesn't seem to exist.
Exposure to all sides is important to be able to reach our own conclusions. Let's not take that away.
Barry Meindl (Brooksville, FL, 2022-03-19)
#199I’m signing because “all truth is God’s truth,” and “there’s not a square inch in the whole domain of human existence over which Christ, who is Lord over all, does not exclaim, ‘Mine’!”
Robert Hosack (Beaver, PA, 2022-03-21)