To All Members of the University Community:
In the days since last Tuesday’s election, people in our community have experienced hateful attacks, both on an individual level and as members of groups. As leaders of our campus, we want to speak out against these behaviors and express our hopes for moving forward.
We saw a threatening message painted on the rock near our campus; a student walking near campus was threatened with being lighted on fire because she wore a hijab (this crime alert has been canceled); another student left his apartment to go to class and found a swastika with a message telling him to go home. Some students have also been shouted at and accused of being racist because of their political views.
Emotions are high all across the political spectrum. We hope all members of our community can agree that we must not stand silent while facing expressions of bigotry, discrimination or hate that have become part of our national political discourse. Only by speaking out against personal attacks, hate and threats can we move on to have the discussions that will be necessary for our campus and our nation to reach its full potential.
We do not seek to suppress political speech or ongoing debate of key issues. Rather, we are asking everyone to reject hate and bigotry and to provide personal support for one another. People of widely varying ideologies have expressed this idea, and we are confident that it represents the ideals of the vast majority of our community.
Additionally, members of our community have asked about resources that are available to help them report or address episodes of bias and hate in the campus community during what is a difficult time for many.
All members of the campus community may contact the Bias Response Team here.
Information on Reporting on Hate Crimes and Bias-Related Incidents is here.
The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching’s advice on Responding to Incidents of Hate Speech is here.
A list of Available Resources from our Division of Public Safety and Security is here.
While we are deeply concerned about the many incidents of hate and bigotry that have occurred recently, we are also buoyed by the way in which many in our community have come together to support each other. Thanks to everyone in the University of Michigan community who is working to advance respect, inclusivity and peaceful expression. We applaud our students, faculty and staff who endeavor to “challenge the present and enrich the future.”
Mark S. Schlissel
Martha E. Pollack
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
E. Royster Harper
Vice President for Student Life
Robert M. Sellers
Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
Chair, SACUA/Senate Assembly
President, Central Student Government
Chukwuka C. Mbagwu
President, Rackham Student Government
Eddie L. Washington, Jr.
Executive Director, Division of Public Safety and Security