Friday, Feb 12, 2021
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
We have received reports of harassment and racist, derogatory remarks aimed at students and other participants of a virtual event held on Feb. 11 as part of Rider’s Black History Month celebration.
We take these reports seriously and an investigation is now underway. We do not tolerate such shameful, reprehensible and degrading behavior. It has absolutely no place in our community — or any community — and runs completely counter to the values and expectations we hold dear.
It is not immediately clear who is responsible for the alleged behavior or if it is connected to similar incidents reported at other colleges and universities. Preliminary findings suggest that those responsible may be external to Rider. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to reach out to Public Safety to assist in its investigation.
We have already been in contact with some of the students directly impacted by this incident and stand ready to be of continuing support to them and anyone else who feels impacted by the incident. We understand how upsetting and unsettling this has been and encourage students to reach out to Counseling Services, which offers telecounseling appointments via Zoom.
We are also taking immediate steps to secure our virtual events from outside interference — above and beyond the current measures in place — and prevent the likelihood of such a horrible incident taking place again.
Rider University does not stand for harassment or racist behavior of any kind. We are committed to fostering a warm, welcoming and inclusive living and learning environment for all students. We must never waiver from that commitment.
Gregory G. Dell'Omo, Ph.D.