Presidents Statement to the Board of Trustees

To the Board of Trustees

The Montclair State University Police Department is currently conducting an investigation into a series of reported bias incidents directed at the campus LGBT Center that first occurred on January 26.

On Tuesday, January 31, I sent a campus-wide email expressing the University’s vigilance in responding to the bias incidents reported, as well as reinforcing the University’s commitment to providing a working and learning environment that is inclusive, free of discrimination, bullying or harassment, and is welcoming to persons from all racial, ethnic, social and cultural backgrounds.

While we have no reason to believe these are credible threats, the University is nonetheless treating this in a serious manner. Accordingly, every appropriate law enforcement protection is, and will continue to be, in place. An intense and thorough investigation by the University Police was begun immediately after the first incident and it is ongoing. However, there is no reason why students and staff should not go about their usual business on campus.

We have reminded the campus community to report any information they might have or suspicious activity the see to the University Police or to utilize the Hawk Eyewitness Etip via text message system that can be accessed by cell phone.

Over the course of many years the University has made a strong commitment to the LGBT community including hiring a full time staff member to support a center specifically devoted to ensuring we met the needs of the community, and creating a Queer Studies minor. In addition, there are many support services available to the LGBT and campus community that can be accessed through the LGBT Center, located in the Student Center room 104, as well as programs and services provided by many other departments across campus. That commitment remains firm.

Bias actions are grossly unacceptable in our community and a clear violation of University policies, as well as the basic tenets of human decency. I have assured students, faculty and staff that they belong to a community that does not condone this type of behavior and does not share in the sentiments expressed in these intolerant messages.

Susan A. Cole