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Addressing Acts of Intolerance

Dear Emerson community members,

One of the most essential qualities of our Emerson College community is that everyone should feel safe to be who they are. It is clear the ongoing crisis in the Middle East has heightened concerns and emotions among many in our community, but under no circumstance should members of our community be targeted or feel threatened based on their identity. Emerson is better than that.

In recent days, we have learned about potential incidents where Emersonians have encountered hateful and harassing rhetoric targeting Arab, Palestinian, Muslim, Jewish, and Israeli people and their supporters in their lives on campus and in our community. Emerson College has no tolerance for hate speech, and we will take all formal accusations of such speech seriously, consistent with our policies and guidelines. 

Should you experience harassment, intimidation, or hate speech on campus, we strongly encourage you to report the incident and contact one of the resources below for support. Should you experience harassment in other parts of the city or different settings, we encourage you to reach out. The College may not be able to adjudicate incidents that occur off campus, but our staff can assist in identifying appropriate resources or reporting sources.

If any member of our community experiences an act of harassment, prejudice, or intolerance, there are resources available for support:

●      The Healing & Advocacy Collective, the Office of Spiritual Life, the Employee Assistance Program, Emerson Counseling and Psychological Services, and the Office of International Student Affairs are all available to offer one-on-one support to our community.

●      Staff in the Dean of Campus Life Office, The Office of Student Success, and the Office of Student Care and Support can also assist students in identifying options for resources and response. The College has professional staff on call 24 hours a day at all three campuses.

○      Students on the Boston campus can contact professional staff on call and can be reached by contacting any member of the residence education staff or by contacting ECPD at 617-824-8555. In addition, ECPD can assist students in Boston with connections to the Boston Police Department.

○      Students in Los Angeles can contact ela_reslife@emerson.edu for local support.

○      Students at Kasteel Well can contact osa_castle@emerson.edu.

●      The Social Justice Collaborative leads our College’s efforts to be a socially just and equity-centered institution. You can share your perspectives with staff at sjc@emerson.edu.

●      The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) is responsible for collecting reports on all instances of discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence within the Emerson community. OEO is a resource to support students, faculty, and staff. To report concerns about discrimination, harassment, or sexual violence, please email oeo@emerson.edu.

We respect the rights of members of our community to have their own political opinions and exercise free expression. Still, we should simultaneously extend empathy and dignity to each community member, especially when so many of us are deeply distressed by world events. Participating in a caring and respectful community is part of what makes us all Emersonians, and what makes Emerson College the special and unique place we all love.

Sincerely,

Jay M. Bernhardt
President

Jan Roberts-Breslin
Provost

Shaya Gregory Poku
VP for Equity and Social Justice

Jim Hoppe
VP and Dean for Campus Life

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