February 27, 2018
- American University Community
- Fanta Aw, Vice President of Campus Life
- Postering by Off Campus Groups
You may have heard about anti-Israel, anti-Jewish posters placed on campus early this morning. We condemn these cowardly acts by outside groups who are targeting college campuses like ours. While we don’t know that the groups who have postered on our campus in recent months are related, their messages are offensive, and they are the antithesis of what we represent. We do believe they are targeting AU because of our values.
I want to take this the opportunity to provide some context for the university’s actions and share our process for how we are addressing acts by alt right groups targeting our campus.
AU Police has implemented additional proactive measures for incidents on our campus. Our process to handle these instances is informed by the fact that there has been increased activity from alt right groups on college campuses. There have been many news reports that this has been occurring around the country and a recent report from the Anti-Defamation League specifically about anti-Semitic incidents particularly on college campuses.
Part of our response is to not give these groups attention, which is what they want, and we want you to know we are being as proactive as we possibly can. Our proactive stance includes a strong AU Police approach, surveillance, immediate response, identification of people who should not be on our campus, informing those people this is private property, and barring those people from campus and/or arresting as appropriate. Any individuals who we previously barred are subject to arrest should they return.
As I have said before, as an institution we stand against racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-immigration. We believe in human dignity, equal rights for all and preservation of free expression. This sadly continues to make American University a target for acts of cowardice and bigotry that are disturbingly global. We will stand together strongly against these acts that are intended to frighten and divide our community. They will not divide us.
We understand the anxiety that this may cause. I remind all of you of the counseling resources we have available including the AU Counseling Center in room 214 of the Mary Graydon Center (202-885-3500), the Dean of Students (202-885-3300), and the Kay Spiritual Life Center (202) 885- 3320. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to contact the Faculty Staff Assistance program.