A Message to the Campus Community
Yesterday’s Day of Unity was a striking example of our community at its best—welcoming, inclusive, and strong in our message that “Hate is Not an MSU Value.”
It is, therefore, with great disappointment that I write to inform you of a second bias incident that occurred last night. Sometime around 10:30 p.m., a hateful message directed against African Americans and women was written in marker on the door of a room in The Heights residence complex. Students reported the incident to the University Police, and the Police launched a rigorous investigation which is currently underway. The Bias Response Team has also been engaged.
The University has a “zero-tolerance” policy for bias intimidation and discrimination, along with an unswerving commitment to providing an environment that is inclusive, free of discrimination, bullying or harassment, and is welcoming to persons from all racial, ethnic, social and cultural backgrounds. Once again, a few individuals have violated not only University policy, but the basic tenets of human decency. A bias incident is a criminal act, and anybody found responsible for such actions will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If you have any information relating to these incidents, please contact the University Police at (973) 655-5222, or the Confidential Tips Line at 973-655-8477, or utilize the Hawk Eyewitness E-tip via text message to 67283 from any cell phone. Any student who feels in need of support in regard to this incident should be in contact with Dean of Students Rose Mary Howell or members of her staff.
As we move forward, I urge you to remember the positive messages we shared at yesterday’s Unity Rally. The message “We Are as One” applies to members of every race, gender, and cultural or religious group on this campus. Throughout its history, Montclair State University has provided educational opportunities to a highly diverse student population and a supportive environment in which all students with the desire to learn can pursue their goals and ambitions. That tradition is not going to change now. Every student in this University is important to me, and now, as always, I will do everything I can to assure that every student has his or her chance at success.