Writing and linguistics department makes statement on FYE book

McClain Baxley

STATESBORO — The Georgia Southern University writing and linguistic department released a statement defending author Jennine Capó Crucet who spoke on GS’ campus Wednesday.

After a lecture on her novel “Make Your Home Among Strangers” ended with an exchange on white privilege, a video began circulating of GS students burning the book.

Thursday afternoon, Russell Willerton, Ph.D, Department Chair of Writing and Linguistics, released a statement on Facebook. 

The statement can be read here: 

The Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University is dismayed and disappointed by the uproar against author Jennine Capó Crucet, who visited Statesboro last night. Her book, Make Your Home Among Strangers, depicts a young Latina woman’s challenges in navigating the world of higher education at a majority-white, selective college. The barriers that minority students face at majority-white colleges and universities are well documented.

The book was featured in First Year Experience classes. Last night’s discussion with the author devolved into accusations of her demonstrating racism against white people. Some students burned copies of Crucet’s book and even gathered outside her hotel. We assert that destructive and threatening acts do not reflect the values of Georgia Southern University.

Our department values stories and how they reflect parts of the human experience. We also value discussion and debate of important issues from all sides and perspectives.

We regret that Crucet’s experience in Statesboro ended as it did. We call on students to remain civil in disagreement, even on difficult issues, and to make Georgia Southern University a place that we all can feel proud to represent.

The full story on the video can be found here.

McClain Baxley, The George-Anne, gaeditor@georgiasouthern.edu