Dear Drexel Colleagues and Students,

In my March 12 message, I commended our community’s commitment to free speech by pointing out that “face-to-face discussions on campus about the war in Gaza and the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict have remained civil, and that on-campus teach-ins and demonstrations have been peaceful, with participants and passersby being considerate and respectful of one another.”

So I was greatly distressed to learn that someone defaced the sign of Students Supporting Israel —one of 120 registered groups participating at University-wide Student Organization Fair this past week— with hateful labels and phrases. Drexel Public Safety is investigating photographs and video camera footage of the incident, which occurred when the student who was staffing his organization’s table stepped away briefly.

I am especially disturbed that this blatant affront to human dignity and common decency took place in broad daylight and in plain sight of dozens of Drexel students. Regardless of one’s views about the war, each of us is responsible for keeping Drexel free of hate, bias, intimidation, or harassment. I therefore call on anyone who can identify the person or persons who defaced the sign to call our Drexel Public Safety tip line at 215.895.2222. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.

We forbid all acts of bias, discrimination, and harassment toward any member of our community. Nor will we tolerate any disruptive or offensive behavior that contributes to a hostile teaching, learning, working, and social environment. And we are more bound and determined than ever to eliminate the scourge of racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of prejudice from our campus once and for all.


John Fry

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