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California State University, Long Beach
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Promoting Tolerance in STEM Classrooms

The focus in our CNSM classrooms is on learning with the ultimate goal being the success of our students in our discipline. The most effective learning takes place when a student is comfortable and feels respected by peers and faculty alike. In your class or in your research program, there might be a student who is troubled or even frightened by the recent expansion of hate/hate speech. As one step to ensure that all of our students feel valued, consider standing up against hate as you welcome students to your class each semester.

Letting students know that "You are welcome here and are a valued part of this course. Hate doesn't belong on our campus, and won't be tolerated in this class" is a small step that could have a strong impact on your students. While most of us already include messages of welcome and statements of inclusion and tolerance in our syllabi, we can add to this by standing up directly against hate/hate speech. This simple statement isn't enough to stop hate, but it is a positive step.

For more ideas, see the links below, including the document from President Conoley. If we ensure that all of our students know that they are valued, even if it is in a brief – "you are welcome here, but hate is not" type of message, then we increase the rate of student success in the CNSM.