Penn State Intercom......October
Fighting back against hate
harmony to campus community
the past few weeks, there have been a number of events on the
University Park campus and in the surrounding community that are
rooted in hatred, violence, prejudice and discrimination. These
incidents include sexual assaults, hate mail, the harassment of
African American students and the harassment of gay and lesbian
police are currently investigating a series of threatening letters
that have been received by members of Penn State's African American
community. Three of the letters went to students and one to a
their investigation, University police have notified the State
Attorney General and the FBI, and will work with U.S. Postal Inspectors
in an effort to identify the person responsible for the letters,
which contained racial epithets and threats directed at the recipients.
who received the hate mail have met with University officials
and will be provided support services and additional security.
of such behavior is our first priority, but when acts of hatred
occur, our next priority must be to find and prosecute the perpetrators,"
said President Graham B. Spanier. "I want to convey a clear message:
Penn State University will not tolerate such behaviors, nor will
we stand by and allow members of our community to be threatened
or harmed physically or emotionally. These anti-social behaviors
might not be the work of organized hate groups, but those who
engage in such craven acts share a trait with hate groups -- the
intent to threaten and intimidate, not just individuals, but entire
communities of people."
urged the University community not to let these acts divide it.
join forces to deplore racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism
and other religious harassment. We must combat sexual violence.
We must ward off all forms of discrimination that seek to find
a home here," he said.
end, Spanier announced that he is establishing a special fund
to provide reward money to any individual whose information leads
to the arrest and conviction of anyone under federal or state
criminal law for actions that harass or communicate threats, intimidation
or harm to members of the University community. The details of
this fund will be worked out in the coming days.
spoken openly and clearly on these problems numerous times in
the past," said Spanier. "As an institution we have invested heavily
in educational programs, workshops and community forums designed
to combat these social ills. Apparently, some people think we
are not serious about these convictions. They continue to violate
our community standards in the belief that there will be no repercussions.
Nothing could be further from the truth, and no one should underestimate
College Mayor Bill Welch joined with University officials in denouncing
the hate mail.
type of behavior is something that State College will not accept.
The diversity that Penn State has brought to this community is
one of our greatest assets," he said.
of Educational Equity and Student Affairs also will be redoubling
their educational efforts and student programming to nurture an
enhanced campus climate for diversity.
disturbing and unfortunate that this sort of thing still happens
in our country," said Terrell Jones, vice provost for educational
equity. "I very much regret that the students were exposed to
this sort of hatred. It should serve as a reminder to all of us
that we need to continue our efforts to encourage tolerance and
diversity on the campus and within the broader community."
information on this topic, check the Penn State Web site at http://www.psu.edu/ur/civility/.