Monday, Aug 19, 2019

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Reaffirming OHIO's values as an inclusive community

This message was sent to the Ohio University community on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. 

Dear Bobcat Community,

Yom Kippur officially begins at sundown tonight. This is considered to be the most important holiday in the Jewish faith. On this “Day of Atonement,” our Jewish friends attend special synagogue services and fast, forgive, and ask to be forgiven for the sins of the past year, as well as looking at the year ahead. This is a time of reflection for millions around the world, and we would like to wish everyone good health, happiness and peace in the New Year.

At Ohio University, people of all backgrounds are welcomed here, and we are committed to do what we can to advance equity and inclusion. We believe that understanding is the first step in the path to acceptance. So today, we encourage everyone to learn more about this very important day in the lives of millions. Ohio University is committed to ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for every member of the Bobcat community – acts of hate and intolerance have no place on our campus.

That is why we were saddened today to learn that at some point in the overnight hours, someone spray-painted swastika symbols on a wall inside Glidden Hall and on Jeff Hill. This symbol has historically been used to intimidate, terrorize, and ostracize entire segments of people. The re-emergence of such a hateful symbol is unacceptable on any day of the year, but this incident is even more disturbing during Yom Kippur. We stand in solidarity with our Jewish community and strongly condemn this act of hate and anti-Semitism. We were swift in reporting the vandalism to the Ohio University Police Department and our facilities and maintenance crews have been tasked with removing the graffiti.

We ask that during this time of introspection, you too take time to reflect on how you can be a more positive and active member of the Bobcat Community to ensure we are all making investments that strengthen our community.

Shana Tovah!

M. Duane Nellis, Ph.D.

Jason B. Pina, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Interim Chief Diversity Officer