Dear UF community:
Today, a University of Florida journalism professor discovered a noose on a lectern in his classroom.
The incident was reported to the University of Florida Police Department and an investigation is ongoing.
While we do not know why the rope was placed there or the intention, recent reports indicate it may have been a prank. Nonetheless, the shameful and deplorable history that nooses evoke opens wounds, particularly for members of the Black community.
I hope all of us will care deeply and support those who are the targets of such symbols.
I want to be clear that I believe symbols of hate and racism undermine the kind of community that is so vital to the university’s goals of mutual understanding and respect. I also want to be clear that racial discrimination has no place at our university.
I affirm my support for our Black students, staff and faculty and am pleased to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy with many of them beginning tonight at a vigil at the Institute of Black Culture. Other events continue all month and the schedule can be found HERE.
Together, I hope our community will reject racism and violence in all forms and join together to make our university a welcoming place for everyone.
If you know anything about this incident or are the victim of a crime, please report it to the police. If you are the victim of discriminatory behavior, please report it to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. As always, if you are aware of students in distress for any reason, please refer them to U Matter, We Care at firstname.lastname@example.org.
W. Kent Fuchs
President, University of Florida