The following message was shared with all students, faculty and staff on Monday, November 6, 2023.
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Since Ohio State condemned the Hamas terrorist attacks that occurred on October 7, the university has been singularly focused on supporting our campuses and ensuring that our community feels safe, seen and heard. We have both spoken and acted, encouraging an environment of respect and compassion.
This is a profoundly difficult time for many on our campuses and throughout the world. The university is where we work and live, and Ohio State will not tolerate violations of the law or university policy. This includes but is not limited to antisemitism, bigotry, Islamophobia, racism, sexism and violence. We have not and will not tolerate hatred, intimidation or harassment of anyone based on their religious beliefs, nationality or identity. Although conflicting views have been strongly expressed on our campuses, freedom of speech and freedom of expression will continue to be supported and are fundamental to our Shared Values.
We will support such freedoms even when the views expressed may be highly objectionable and do not align with the university’s values. Not only is this a university commitment, it is also a requirement by the law of our nation.
I write today because we must remain vigilant in balancing our values and ability to speak freely. In October, the university received a report of an incident that an Ohio State student reported to be antisemitic. Based on federal Clery Act reporting definitions and requirements, the incident – in which a student reported being spit upon – has been categorized as a hate crime and publicly reported. This type of behavior is absolutely unacceptable. To be clear, we will not tolerate any such behaviors on our campuses.
To date, Ohio State has not experienced the volume of violence and unrest that has occurred at other institutions of higher education, and that is a credit to our community. In light of today’s report, I want to remind us all of the elements of civility and respect inherent in our Shared Values. There is no room for hate on our campuses.
For more about the university’s actions related to the Israel-Hamas war as well as support resources, including how to report threats to your personal safety or protected class discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct, please see the Key Issues website.
We will continue to work diligently to support all members of our community. Even and especially during these difficult times, we must come together as Buckeyes.
Peter J. Mohler, PhD
Acting President and Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and Knowledge