University statement on racism, anti-Semitism

Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Win Phillips
November 22, 2019

The University of Florida has experienced two incidents in the past week related to racism and anti-Semitism.

Last weekend, an African-American UF student riding in a UF Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol van tweeted that a male individual riding in the back of the van used a racial slur to refer to her and her friends. On Monday, an article about the incident appeared in the Independent Florida Alligator.

UF officials, including the Dean of Students office, have made contact with some of the individuals and students involved in this incident, are continuing to reach out to others and are gathering information that will be used to determine what potential action may be taken going forward.

Later in the week, the university President’s Office received information that during a talk on Tuesday by Israeli Defense Force reserve member Yoni Michanie at Little Hall, some attendees called him a Nazi and a war criminal. There was also a peaceful protest during the talk, and there is no evidence that the peaceful demonstrators made such remarks. Our apologies as initial information received in the original communication indicated otherwise.

Both incidents illustrate behavior that is directly at odds with our campus values.

The University of Florida places the highest value on creating a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment where all students, faculty and staff feel safe. UF is a community of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, and our greatest strength lies in our ability to embrace all perspectives and viewpoints and not harm others with our words.

Anyone who observes or experiences bigotry or discrimination is encouraged to report it to the Ombuds, the Title IX coordinator, UF Human Resources or the Student Affairs RESPECT team https://respect.ufsa.ufl.edu/

Any student who is in distress or needs support should contact U Matter We Care, a support program provided by the Dean of Students office, at umatter@ufl.edu or 352-294-CARE (2273).

Anyone who is threatened with physical harm should call 911 or, in a non-emergency, call the University Police Department at 352-392-9111.