A Message Regarding Recent Campus Arrests

To Members of the Montclair State University Community:

Since January 30, 2012, a series of on-campus bias incidents have been reported to the Montclair State University Police Department. With the cooperation and assistance of the University community and the New Jersey State Police, and after a thorough and complete investigation by University law enforcement officials, it has been determined that there was probable cause to arrest the two individuals who were the source of the reported complaint related to the racist graffiti and threat of violence. The University Police Department is continuing to actively investigate the bias incident that occurred last week toward the LGBT community and will continue to do so until arrests are made in that case as well.

In all of our responses to any reported campus bias incidents, we have made it clear that these actions were completely against our values as a University, and we have done everything possible to identify and punish, to the fullest extent of the law, those who were responsible for such despicable acts. While it is disappointing that, in this most recent instance, the individuals committing those acts were persons residing on campus, their timely apprehension is a reflection of the cooperation and assistance that the larger University community lent to the investigation leading to these arrests.

Last week’s Day of Unity was a striking example of our community at its very best —welcoming, inclusive, and strong in our message that “Hate is Not an MSU Value.” As we move forward, I urge you to remember the positive messages and strong sense of community that we shared at the Unity Rally. The message of “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 been a welcoming educational home to a highly diverse student population, and it has provided a supportive environment in which all students with the desire to learn can pursue their goals and ambitions. In coming together as we have during these difficult recent days, it could not be any clearer to me that this tradition stands firm.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.

Karen L. Pennington
Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life