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A Matter of Concern to Us All

DEPARTMENT(S): 
February 16, 2017

A Message to the Community

On the evening of February 14th, an anti-Semitic Valentine message was posted on a student’s door in one of our residence halls; that same message was also shared on social media. This incident was reported to university officials by a student living in the residence hall. Support systems were promptly mobilized, and a full investigation was launched by WPI Campus Police. The responsible individuals have been identified, the case is ongoing, and will be fully adjudicated through WPI’s Campus Judicial System. 

Hateful speech in any form is unacceptable.  It is counter to our values, and it is a violation of WPI’s code of conduct. Unfortunately, acts of intolerance have grown in prominence nationally – including on college campuses.  WPI has been working diligently to educate our own community and to foster a spirit of diversity and inclusivity. Yet, in spite of our best and expanded efforts, instances like this demonstrate that we still have work to do. 

In addition to the work we announced yesterday to assess our cultural climate, equity, and inclusion infrastructure, WPI has an ongoing relationship with the New England Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League.  We consulted with the ADL regarding this matter and I appreciate their partnership, validation and ongoing support.

WPI is proud to be a multicultural community made up of individuals from many diverse backgrounds. We are people of different faiths, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and socio-economic statuses.  We must strive to adhere to two firm guiding principles: respect for each other as human beings, and a rejection of prejudice and intolerance in all its forms.

As always, if you feel uncomfortable or need support, resources are available.  For students, the residential services staff and the staff at the counseling center (x5540) are available for conversations.  The Employee Assistance Program is available to all faculty and staff. 

As a community, we have a shared responsibility to uphold the ideals of this institution.  I give heartfelt thanks to those who have the integrity and strength to step back from a group of colleagues or friends to call out an offensive act; it is only through such courageous leadership that we can ensure that WPI is a welcoming, accepting place.

Sincerely,

Laurie