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Promoting Peace and Civility

Dear members of the Northwestern community,

On Friday, an Arab Muslim student at Stanford University was injured in what is being investigated as a potential hate crime. The incident occurred amid heightened tensions around the world, across the country and on campuses and college towns like our own, including antisemitic threats at Cornell University and violence at Tulane University. These incidents serve as stark reminders that we must be vigilant in our efforts to promote peace and civility, and to provide safety and support to our community.

As we have said in previous messages, Northwestern fully supports academic freedom and freedom of expression, but we cannot — and will not — tolerate violence, intimidation, threats, Islamophobia or antisemitism.

This afternoon, there is a rally planned for downtown Evanston, and other vigils are planned for the days ahead, as members of our community come together to share space, to advocate for their beliefs and to raise awareness about the violence in the Middle East. The Northwestern University Police Department (NUPD) has been in close coordination with Evanston Police to develop safety plans for today’s rally and others in the coming days.

While we have no reason to believe any of the upcoming events will be anything but peaceful, we want to remind our community that anyone found in violation of state law or the University’s code of conduct will be held accountable.

In recent weeks, the University has increased our police and security presence on the Evanston campus, and members of our Student Affairs team have been in constant communication with a wide array of students to help make campus a place where all feel welcome. Police are available at 847-491-3456 on the Evanston campus or at 312-503-3456 on the Chicago campus if you ever feel unsafe.

We can be passionate about our beliefs while also being compassionate to those with whom we disagree.