Office of the Provost
Denouncing Acts of Anti-Semitism
Dear UConn Community,
Our University is committed to an environment that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Recent reports of a series of anti-Semitic incidents on our Storrs campus undermine that goal. We denounce in the strongest terms acts of violence, hate, and intimidation aimed at members of our Jewish community.
These recent reports were all acts of physical damage to property, including swastika graffiti. These are undeniable symbols of antisemitism that elicit painful reminders of the Holocaust among our Jewish students, faculty, and staff. These acts and other discriminatory acts this semester are deeply upsetting and leave a scar on members of our community whose beliefs or identities are targeted. No student or employee should be subjected to harassment based on their religious beliefs, nor their race, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, national origin, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
We rely on each member of our community to help us foster an environment that is welcoming and safe for all of us. Our University policies set forth expectations of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, which are outlined in our policy against harassment, discrimination, and related interpersonal violence. Violations can result in discipline up to and including separation from the University.
Another important measure anyone at UConn can take is to report bias incidents at our new site, inform.uconn.edu. We created this site to make it easier for any employee or student at UConn to submit a report and find additional resources. Your reports also help University leaders identify potential problem areas, giving us the opportunity to address issues more proactively.
The recent acts of anti-Semitism happened in South Campus and were investigated using our bias response protocol with a focus on the residential community where the acts of hatred took place. After each incident the Residential Life staff reached out to the impacted parties to offer support and provided messages to the community, which are posted on the Dean of Students Office’s website.
UConn staff are actively engaged in conversations with the members of the Hillel community to plan an event to be held the week of Nov. 9 to address these concerns and work toward healing. Details of the upcoming event including date and time will be available next week, posted in the Daily Digest. These acts of hatred have no home on our campus and we will continue to work to support the members of our community, particularly UConn Huskies of the Jewish faith who have been directly impacted.
Unfortunately, we have no shortage of events that demonstrate the destruction that can result from religious intolerance, from as nearby as the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh to recent religiously motivated attacks in Paris. As a public research university, UConn holds a responsibility to lead the way in promoting mutual understanding and repudiating intolerance.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer