Statement on antisemitic text message

ANNOUNCEMENTS

What happened

On Tuesday, September 7, 2021, the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, a member of the campus community reported that they received a text message from an unknown phone number, which contained hate speech against the Jewish community.  The community member was not Jewish and felt that the text was likely a mass random text. The University has not received reports of other community members receiving this text message. This incident is among many being experienced by Jewish community members in higher education around the country as incidents of antisemitism are on the rise.  

What is being done

The incident was reported to the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team, and to the University of Utah Police Department, who will take steps to investigate the incident.

What to do

Be vigilant and speak up. If you received the same or a similar text message, please report it to University of Utah Police as it could assist in the investigation. If you hear about or receive similar messages or experience a racist or bias incident, make a report to the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team, or if you experience discrimination you can report it to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

If you are interested in learning more about the variety of resources the U offers to support diversity and inclusion, please visit the Office of the Dean of Students in the Union Building, Room 270, deanofstudents@utah.edu, 801-581-7066, or the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Park Building, Room 208, or https://diversity.utah.edu/our-team/.  

The U is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion

The University of Utah strongly condemns this action and the message. The University of Utah continues to condemn bias, discrimination, racism, bigotry and hate in the strongest possible terms. We support fostering an inclusive campus where everyone feels a sense of belonging. U administrators want to assure students, faculty and staff that they are dedicated to creating a safe, welcoming and equitable campus where we work together to engage, support and advance a living, learning and working environment that fosters values of respect, diversity, inclusivity and academic excellence.

The University of Utah also welcomes and values the members of our community who identify as Jewish, and believes the community is strengthened by their contributions. The University is currently partnering with Hillel International on a comprehensive Campus Climate Initiative focused on understanding the experiences and needs of our Jewish student population and educating the campus community. Information about other types of critical conversations, including a discussion about intent vs. impactsurviving and thriving, claiming space and more, is available online. 

Support and resources

Counseling and support services are available from several entities on campus:

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Brian Jay Nicholls, Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer at RBIresponse@utah.edu.