The University of Vermont this morning issued a statement containing comments made this morning by Pres. Suresh Garimella to the board of trustees.
“…There’s another important matter that I must address today.
Antisemitism – hate, discrimination and at times even violence directed at those who identify as Jewish – has been on the rise around the world, here in the United States and on college campuses. Sadly, UVM is not immune, and I have listened to members of our campus community who experience a sense of risk in fully expressing their Jewish identity.
I want my message to be clear to the entire campus community: antisemitism, in any form, will not be tolerated at UVM.
Conduct that targets and threatens Jewish individuals or groups, or that unreasonably interferes with their ability to participate in UVM programs and activities, is unacceptable and completely contradictory to Our Common Ground values. You have my assurance that if a member of our community is found responsible for such conduct, they will be held fully accountable.
Like all forms of discrimination and harassment, antisemitism is an affront to us all and leaves our entire community diminished. That is why our response to individual actions is only one aspect of our community’s efforts to resist and reject antisemitism. We must engage at the individual, group, community and societal levels to ensure the causes of such hate and bias as well as the effects are adequately addressed.
We will remain fully engaged with students, community leaders, and external organizations to ensure that our Jewish students, faculty and staff are fully supported at UVM and feel the sense of belonging that as President I want every member of our community to feel. I know the Board joins me in acknowledging the seriousness of this issue and in reinforcing our commitment to ensuring that our campus is a safe and welcoming community for all.
I have charged our Divisions of Student Affairs and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with building and maintaining meaningful actions that ensure our Jewish students and community members feel support and care. Resources for learning, support, and action for Jewish life and culture at UVM, including our continuing steps to respond to bias incidents and support those affected by them, are available on our website. UVM and its leaders are committed to comprehensive institutional excellence and to providing the necessary support for our entire community to live, work, and study with confidence and safety.”