Dear Adelphi Community,
As your faculty and administrators, we share this joint statement with our community.
There have been recent incidents of students using racial slurs, hateful comments, and reported threats of violence and retaliation on social media—and sadly, this is not the first time these issues have occurred. To those among us who have been targeted, directly and indirectly, we hate that this has happened to you, and we hate that we have not yet found a way to stop it.
We want you to know that these incidents are actively under investigation, including engagement of law enforcement and cyber forensics. Reported threats from anonymous social media accounts have not been traceable without proof of firsthand threats. We want to hold these individuals accountable for the harassment and crimes they are forcing on our community members. Please, we ask all of you, if you have additional evidence to aid in our investigation of these threats, violence or hate crimes, please contact our Public Safety team at 516.877.3500.
Ignorance, racism, hate and violence hold no place in the Adelphi community, yet those things keep happening here. We know there is no place at Adelphi for inexcusable messages of white supremacy and anti-Blackness, but such racist attacks are a stark reminder of the work we need to do to combat systemic inequality and ongoing racism in our very own community. We believe intimidation in words or pictures that causes fear of violence is not simply personal expression. When it’s a crime, it will be treated as a crime.
Investigations and perpetrator/response models are not enough. We have heard your concerns about a pervasive culture of intolerance and ignorance. We have heard our community members who are distrusting of the investigation process and resulting sanctions. We will continue to listen, and more importantly, we will act.
We as faculty and administrators take responsibility for developing a solution that goes beyond identifying perpetrators after the fact. We must instead acknowledge the historical, cultural, structural and systemic factors that contribute to racism and all forms of bias. It is our moral obligation to change the culture of our institution.
We are asking the student body and the entire community to tell us what you need, and what you think is best to accomplish effective systemic change. We will offer regular venues and opportunities for faculty, staff, students and administrators to engage in these conversations, and promise to share with you additional action plans in the near future.
Today, the Division of Student Affairs, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and members of the Equitable Adelphi Action Team are providing a safe space for processing of recent events at 12:00 noon. All participants are welcome to join this healing dialogue and can access the discussion by visiting this link.
It takes all of us to build a truly inclusive community.
- Faculty and administrators will use these words to spark critical conversations and teach-in moments in the classroom and throughout the community.
- All members of our community—faculty, staff and students—are charged with assessing our own implicit biases and microaggressions. This is perhaps the hardest task—it can be uncomfortable and daunting. But it is essential if we wish to create true allyship in our community.
- A community effort is necessary to initiate productive dialogue and create change.
If you’re reading this and you’re unsure of how to unpack your own implicit biases and microaggressions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will connect you with our faculty and staff who are experts in this work.
We ask for your continued partnership in the process. Continue to report specific incidents, providing all details and direct evidence available so that we may conduct thorough investigations. Additionally, please reach out to our Student Counseling Center and other internal resources if you need additional support at any time.
As faculty and administrators, we are fully committed to building an environment at Adelphi that is seen as welcoming and safe by all.
Christine M. Riordan, President
R. Sentwali Bakari, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Kristen Capezza, Vice President of Enrollment Management and University Communications
Steve Everett, Provost and Executive Vice President
Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
James J. Perrino, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration
Maggie Yoon Grafer, Associate Vice President of University Advancement and External Relations
Faculty Senate Executive Committee:
Chair: Sarah Eltabib, Senior Lecturer, College of Arts and Sciences
Vice Chair: Lee Stemkoski, Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Secretary: Michael Matto, Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Martin Haas, Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Marilyn Klainberg, Professor, College of Nursing and Public Health
Carl Mirra, Associate Professor, Ruth S. Ammon School of Education
Marilyn Paul, Clinical Associate Professor, School of Social Work
Cory Poccia, Adjunct Faculty, College of Arts and Sciences
Eugenia Villa-Cuesta, Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Andy Atzert, College of Professional and Continuing Studies
Jacques Barber, Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology
Susan Dinan, Honors College
Violeta Ilik, University Libraries
Manoj Pardasani, School of Social Work
Rajib Sanyal, Robert B. Willumstad School of Business
Elaine Smith, College of Nursing and Public Health
Vincent Wang, College of Arts and Sciences
Xiao-Lei Wang, College of Education and Health Sciences