Dear Students and Colleagues,
I am writing today to affirm Yale’s commitment to equity and inclusion on our campus. Earlier this week, an incident took place in the Hall of Graduate Studies: one student reported another student—a student of color who resides in HGS and thus had every right to be there—to the Yale Police. During the encounter both students’ IDs were checked by police officers, and the caller was admonished for summoning the police when the other student was absolutely entitled to be in the space.
Racism is an unqualified evil in our society. Universities are not utopias, and people of color experience racism on our campus as they do elsewhere in our country. This fact angers and disappoints me. We must neither condone nor excuse racism, prejudice, or discrimination at Yale. As a university community committed to creating knowledge and understanding, we reject these kinds of ignorance. We look for ways, instead, to demonstrate our shared humanity. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment that empowers our students, faculty, and staff to pursue their intellectual and professional goals.
I have met and spoken with many university leaders today to address the challenges raised by the incident in HGS. Our deans, vice presidents, and others are committed to continuing the work of inclusion and finding new ways to prevent situations like this one. We have been engaged in this work for some time and have developed programs to prevent and address discrimination through education and reporting. Secretary and Vice President for Student Life
Kimberly Goff-Crews outlined some of the most recent initiatives in her statement last night. Secretary Goff-Crews, Chief of Yale Police Ronnell Higgins, and Dean of the Graduate School Lynn Cooley will hold listening sessions; times and locations will be announced soon. They will also convene with colleagues around campus to determine how we can improve our current systems. These three individuals are incredible leaders who are fully committed to addressing discrimination and racism at Yale. They will continue to coordinate our response to this situation, and I will remain directly involved in the