February 18, 2022
Dear William Paterson University community,
I learned today of a repugnant and cowardly act of hate on our campus. Someone scrawled swastikas and the N-word on the walls of a staircase in Hillside Hall early this morning. I condemn this act of hate and will not allow this to negatively impact who we are as a university; one that thrives on values of equity, inclusion and justice. A Resident Assistant noticed this bias incident, notified University police, and maintenance staff then quickly cleaned and painted the walls. Our police are investigating and the incident has also been referred to the campus Bias Prevention and Education Team (BPET), a group of staff and faculty who support students who may have been victims of bias incidents. The team provides support to community members who file a report, and keeps records of bias incidents, provides community education and analyzes trends to continually improve campus environment around equity, inclusion and well-being. For more information about the Bias Prevention and Education Team, or to file a report of any alleged bias incident, please visit the BPET webpage.
The words and images discovered this morning immediately produce feelings of disgust, shock, and sadness and I am appalled to see such expressions of hate on our campus. Anti-Semitism, racism, and hatred of any kind are rampant in our nation, and they strike fear not just in the groups and individuals targeted, including those from marginalized groups. We learn, teach and grow in a William Paterson University community that is enriched by who we are as individuals and groups. People who engage in this type of activity in secluded places in the dark of night are cowards and don’t hate their targets as much as themselves. These are often desperate acts of those who are afraid of losing their power and privilege. These acts of hate are not ones that we as a university will stand for nor tolerate. Let us all keep working toward a goal of being a community where we are all enriched by values of inclusion and belonging, not hate and injustice. We are a proudly diverse community and we must not allow the hatred of any individuals to deter us from our commitment to thriving as a safe and welcoming campus.