Anti-Semitism not Tolerated at Western

Dear Western Community:

As we begin spring quarter, I`d like to express my deep appreciation for Western`s caring community and for all that you do to make it so.  This type of community largely depends on our simple, but crucial recognition of every person`s fundamental value and worth.  Our care for one another – as classmates, colleagues, and members of a shared community – defines what makes Western such a meaningful place to learn and work.

You may know that in recent months the number of anti-Semitic actions and threats across our country has increased. Unfortunately, like other universities, Western has not been immune to this behavior, and it only takes the actions of a handful of individuals to sow fear and intimidation. 

In the spirit of Western`s core values, I want to unequivocally state that acts of anti-Semitism have no place at Western and will not be tolerated.  This fall, and late winter quarter, the University received reports of anti-Semitic graffiti appearing on campus.  University Police (UP) have been investigating these incidents, and I encourage anyone with information about these, or any other bias-motivated vandalism or behaviors, to contact UP at (360) 650-3555 or to the Equal Opportunity (EO) Office at (360)650-3307.  Individuals who prefer to make an anonymous report may call the UP anonymous reporting line at (360) 650-SAFE or use the EO Office`s Bias Incident Reporting Form at https://eoo.wwu.edu.  If you have personally experienced anti-Semitism or any form of discrimination, you have a right to file a discrimination complaint with the EO Office. Prompt reporting allows the University to investigate incidents, remove symbols of hate, and resolve complaints.  Please also know that our Counseling Center is available to students as a resource, and that employees may utilize the Employee Assistance Program.

In response to incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti on campus last year, a task force was charged with recommending ways to educate our community about anti-Semitism and its effects on Jewish members of our community and our community as a whole.  The charge to the task force is even more relevant to our Western community today than it was a year ago.  The task force has researched this issue, met with national, state and local experts, sought input from campus governance groups, and reviewed best practices to prevent and respond to this insidious form of prejudice and discrimination. The task force is now in the process of completing their recommendations, which we will share with the campus community for implementation in the next few weeks.

I, like you, am offended and angered by these recent incidents of anti-Semitism here on our campus and around the nation.  I again state emphatically that we will not tolerate acts of anti-Semitism, or any other kind of bias, prejudice, bigotry or hate here at Western.  Together, we will continue to ensure that Western is an inclusive and respectful community.  Thank you for all you do to care for one another at Western.

Sincerely,

Sabah