Dear Adelphi Community,

I am deeply troubled by recent incidents of students using racial slurs, hateful comments, and threats of violence and retaliation on social media. This behavior is unacceptable and contradicts the core values of Adelphi University.

As vice president for student affairs and dean of students, I emphasize that we do not tolerate behaviors that harm Adelphi community members.

All incidents that come to our attention—via email, social media, formal reports or other channels—are subject to investigation and discipline according to our University’s Code of Conduct. I assure you that all issues raised by our community are investigated. We have always done this, and will continue to do so.

Additionally, all threats of violence and physical harm are immediately shared with external law enforcement, who opens an investigation.

Investigations and Sanctions

Anger is an understandable reaction to offensive or unacceptable behavior. Often, following complaints of such student behavior, I hear calls for immediate expulsion or suspension. However, we are prevented from doing so by legal and ethical obligations—all investigations require due process.

Additionally, some might assume that students accused of offenses are allowed to remain part of the Adelphi community with little or no consequences. Details of investigations are protected by federal privacy laws, preventing us from publicly sharing sanctions, or commenting on them. Respect for privacy and law should not imply inaction.

We believe in our mission as educators—to foster growth and development among our students. This means individuals found responsible for offenses may have an opportunity to learn and grow. I encourage you to review the Student Sanction Guidebook to learn more about the transformative process that guides us and many other institutions of higher education.

In my 30-plus years of experience, I have witnessed some of the most powerful student transformations through the Code of Conduct process. I have known community members, spanning all races and genders, who have become ambassadors for positive change after experiencing the opportunity and support of such a process.

My goal is to ensure that the same experience exists here at Adelphi.

You Can Help by Providing Details

Generalized statements and anonymous allegations do not allow for productive investigations and substantial change. We ask that you submit specific information and details about violations of our Code of Conduct through our formal channels so that we may create an official record and communicate the status of your complaint with you.

You can report those details through our code of conduct violation form.

I am asking you, the Adelphi community, to support our core values and foster a community of collaboration, respect and inclusion.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions—you will find open office hours and contact information for myself and other leaders online.


R. Sentwali Bakari, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students


We remain committed to upholding a University environment that is safe and welcoming for every member of our Adelphi family.

If you or someone you know has experienced a serious incident such as discrimination, harassment or sexual assault, please report it to initiate an immediate investigation.

The following leaders and resources are available to you:

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Levermore Hall, 205
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