Response to Recent Racist Incidents

Dear Members of the Stockton Community,

I am outraged and saddened by recent reports of racist actions and social media posts by members of the Stockton community.

Recent events have again brought into stark focus a truth we must all embrace. Black Lives Matter. Some of us may not understand the extent to which racism influences our daily lives and the lives of others in our community. This must end now!

Freedom of speech and civil dialogue are among the most sacred rights in our country, which we, at Stockton University, have pledged to protect since our founding almost 50 years ago by promoting critical thinking and encouraging diverse points of view. 

At Stockton, however, we will never tolerate words of hate that denigrate others. 

As a community of learning, we will continue to encourage and engage in conversations that lead to greater understanding. Toward that goal, faculty and staff participated in Zoom sessions last week to begin this important work.

Students will gather this coming week online to receive support, learn how to support each other and share their stories. More opportunities are under development. I encourage everyone in our community – faculty, staff, students and alumni - to participate, share, and learn.

I also want to state, unequivocally, that we will hold accountable Stockton community members who spread hate and division among us. Our message is clear - such sentiments will never be tolerated here.

We have been made aware of two incidents, and they are currently under investigation.  By law, we are precluded from disclosing our actions related to student conduct or personnel matters.

If you see racist or violent posts by a member of the Stockton community, please submit a Bias Incident Reporting Form.  Your complaint will be directed to the appropriate office for investigation and action.

Moreover, any criminal conduct or threatening behavior should be reported immediately to the Stockton Police.

I am here. I am listening. I hear you. Join me in making Stockton a place where everyone feels welcome, safe and supported.

Best regards,

Harvey Kesselman
Stockton University