News and Announcements

Reiterating OHIO's commitment to fostering a community of respect

The following message was shared with OHIO students, faculty and staff on the Athens Campus on Sunday, December 10, 2023.

To our Ohio University community –

A short time ago, members of our Athens campus community received a notification from the Ohio University Police Department about an incident that occurred last night on our Athens campus that allegedly involved the use of racial slurs and threats directed at three of our Black students. The investigation into this incident is ongoing and may take time to resolve. However, we can be immediately and unequivocally clear on this: the bigotry and threats of violence displayed by the perpetrators in this incident are abhorrent and unacceptable.

Certainly, we take threats of physical harm against any student seriously, and we work every day to ensure the safety of our campus community. We are thankful that no physical harm resulted from this incident. We also recognize that words such as the ones exchanged last night can cause harm of their own. Those words run counter to the culture of respect we must and will continue to build at OHIO.

As we outline in our Make Respect Visible pledge, we must find ways to encourage constructive dialogue and not division, to spread ideas and not hate, to listen more and to judge less. We may not be able to eliminate bigotry and racism from our world, but we can and must expect better from members of our University community.

We applaud those who came forward to report this incident, and we encourage others in our community to report any potential threats to campus safety to OUPD and to report incidents of bias or discrimination or general campus climate concerns through our online reporting tools.

Student Support Available

For students who may need support in the wake of this unsettling news, members of OHIO’s Diversity and Inclusion and Student Affairs leadership will be available for conversations with students at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Monday, December 11 in the Multicultural Center. Students may also visit the center at any time during the day and through Finals Week to express concerns and seek support.

We also want to remind you that the University has resources and avenues to assist you anytime you need help processing trauma or distress. If you believe you would benefit from support for your psychological and emotional well-being, please consider the resources listed below.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) 

Students can drop-in to CPS M-F from 9:45 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. to speak to a counselor. CPS also provides consultation to faculty, administrators and parents who support our students. 

Drop-in services, crisis support, individual and group therapy as well as psychiatric medication consultation are just some of the services available to students through CPS. Students may contact CPS at any time by calling 740-593-1616. If calling after hours, press "1" to be connected with a counselor. 

CPS staff members will also help students in connecting to a wide range of support services and resources both on and off campus. Please visit the CPS website at for more information. 

Sincerely and with care,

Russell Morrow
Interim Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

Kathy Fahl
Dean of Students

December 10, 2023
Staff reports