President Shepard sends message to campus regarding anti-Semitism

Western Today staff

Western Washington University president Bruce Shepard sent the following message via email to the campus community on Tuesday, April 12, regarding some recent events on campus:

Dear Western Community, 

During this past year we at Western have redoubled our efforts to address campus climate issues.  We have made some progress, but we clearly have work to do. 

That progress is a critically important and shared responsibility.  Progress also requires that we be open and candid about challenges as they are encountered.  It is with that obligation in mind that I decided to report to you today on recent events I know you will find as deeply disturbing as do I. 

Last quarter the ugliness of anti-Semitism appeared on campus, just as it is occurring across our country.  Our Equal Opportunity Office (EOO) investigated these incidents of anti-Semitism, and three of the four cases were found to constitute prohibited discrimination.  These incidents, like the racially motived threat last fall that we are all aware of, or other acts of hatred directed at races, nationalities, religions, gender identities, sexual orientation, veterans, or for those of disabilities are unequivocally wrong.

As a result of findings of the investigations, I have asked our EOO to form a task force to recommend ways to educate and help people better understand the impact of anti-Semitic actions.  This work will be done in concert with the work of The President`s Task Force on Equity, Inclusion and Diversity which has been meeting regularly the past year and is making a series of recommendations to address the various forms of discrimination on our campus. We must directly address prohibited discrimination whenever it arises and educate people on the damaging impact it has on individuals and on our community.  

Please join me in renewing our commitments as a campus community to confronting discriminatory behaviors, to encouraging victims to report incidents, and to providing a culture that strongly supports every member of the Western community. 

Sincerely,

Bruce

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 10:42am

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