Dear Emerson community members,
The conflict in the Middle East continues to draw our attention and our collective concern for the well-being of everyone involved. This conflict has negatively affected our community through many harmful comments expressed through conversations, public displays, and primarily online. The expression of targeted and inflammatory rhetoric has resulted in many from our community feeling alone and unsafe, and these responses are not limited to any one identity or viewpoint.
We wish to be perfectly clear: Emerson College has absolutely no tolerance for Anti-Semitism or Islamophobia. If you, or people you know, experience any such acts or language on our campuses or in our community, it is essential to report all incidents to the Office of Equal Opportunity through the online reporting tool or by email. Reporting these incidents ensures they can be investigated and acted upon within our policies and guidelines, including our institutional guidelines on Social Media Use, Code of Community Standards, and Policies on Discrimination and Harassment.
While the College supports the right to free expression, we do not condone rhetoric or actions that are Islamophobic, Anti-Semitic, discriminating based on identity or national origin, or that threaten or encourage violence. We also note that considerable inflammatory rhetoric has come from official and unofficial student organizations. Students involved in these organizations are also responsible for their actions, even in unofficial groups. We strongly urge all Emersonians to be mindful of how their words can be interpreted, and to understand the profound negative impact that provocative rhetoric can have on people with personal, religious, or cultural connections to Israel and Palestine.
Simply put, Emerson College strongly discourages members of our community from using inflammatory language that makes others on campus feel disconnected, marginalized, or unsafe, and erodes the inclusive community and culture we believe in at Emerson. We are better than that, and must hold ourselves to a higher standard as a caring, connected community.
The College also wants to reiterate that there are many community resources available:
- The Healing & Advocacy Collective, the Office of Spiritual Life, the Employee Assistance Program, the Emerson Wellness Center, Intercultural Student Affairs, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for local support.
- Students at Kasteel Well can contact email@example.com.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 any concerns about discrimination, harassment, or sexual violence, please email email@example.com.
We are all invested in a supportive and inclusive Emerson community where everyone feels welcome and safe. Please take extra precautions in your language and rhetoric during this painful time for many.
Jay M. Bernhardt
Shaya Gregory Poku
VP for Equity and Social Justice
VP and Dean for Campus Life