March 11, 2017
To: Members of the University Community
From: Daniel Diermeier, Provost, and Michele Rasmussen, Dean of Students in the University
Date: March 11, 2017
Subject: Message on Recent Posters
On our campus and at many other universities nationwide in recent months we have seen an increase in posters, usually anonymously placed, that support threatening and intolerant behavior. Such actions are contrary to the values of the University of Chicago and our unwavering commitment to fostering an environment of diversity and inclusion. While there is much work to do, the University has advanced these values in recent years through many actions and statements. Messages to the campus community last fall emphasized “the importance of the rich diversity of the campus community,” and affirmed the University’s commitment to “ensuring that diversity and inclusion are essential features of the fabric of our campus community and our interactions beyond campus.”
Anonymous posters that encourage intolerance and hate are not acceptable, and in some cases they violate the University’s clear policies and may constitute a criminal act. The University is working to prevent such acts as our policies and the law allow, and we are committed to continuing to build a non-threatening, non-exclusionary campus environment.
On Thursday night there was an incident on campus involving the placement of posters with disturbing and intimidating messages, which caused damage to University property. The University of Chicago Police Department has identified a suspect who is not affiliated with the University. The University is working with the state’s attorney’s office to determine what charges can be brought, and we support taking action to the fullest extent of the law. The individual also will be permanently barred from this campus.
The University actively supports individuals of all backgrounds who experience discrimination or acts of bias. In this instance the University is providing continuing support for the affected communities, including assistance and guidance from members of the Campus and Student Life’s Bias Response Team. We encourage anyone who has experienced a bias incident, or suspects that one has occurred, to contact the Bias Response Team and make use of the University’s safety and security resources.