This message was distributed via email to all Lafayette students, faculty, and staff.
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
As we all continue to follow the news from the Middle East, I hope we each are finding the time and space to take care of ourselves and one another. It is in times like this that our spirit of community as a college can express itself most meaningfully in our interactions with one another.
It is also in times like this that our dedication to living as a community means the most. We are aware on the national level that the war in the Middle East is causing antisemitism and Islamophobia to rise. We cannot allow that here. We owe it to each other to treat one another with care and respect, especially in times of fear and deep sorrow.
As you know, we have a policy against hate speech, and the College will take appropriate steps if violations of that policy emerge. An incident of deep concern occurred today when a poster bearing words with antisemitic meaning was held up during what was an otherwise peaceful walkout, part of a national event against the violence in Gaza. This incident was immediately reviewed by our student life team, and will be addressed through our bias incident accountability process.
In joining Lafayette, we make a commitment to live up to our ideals as a college community where free expression and empathy are mutually vital principles. In a time of tension, fear, and grief, it is incumbent upon us all to continue to uphold these ideals with special care.
Many members of our community are deeply grieving and especially worried. We are grateful to everyone—students, faculty, and staff—who are doing their very best to support each other, and we encourage the use of every resource available. I appreciate the continued care we are all providing to one another during these tragic and difficult times. It matters. We must be at our best when others need us most.
President Nicole Hurd