Message from President Ali A. Houshmand: An update on an ugly act of racism

Message from President Ali A. Houshmand: An update on an ugly act of racism


Dear Rowan University Community, 

It’s deeply troubling whenever one of our own faces an ugly, racist act on campus. It goes against everything we are striving for here at Rowan and it will not be tolerated.

As we shared yesterday, a Holly Pointe Commons resident reported that she found a racial slur written on her door over the weekend. I assure you the incident is under active investigation by a police detective in our Department of Public Safety and the Office of the Dean of Students. When apprehended, the perpetrator will be subject to disciplinary and/or legal action.

None of us should take this incident lightly. When hateful actions affect one, they affect us all. It’s important that we stand united. If you hear discriminatory insults, speak up. If you witness racist behavior, report it. Stand up. Step in. Don’t be a passive observer. 

Here to help heal
Unfortunately, this incident may trigger unsettling feelings and thoughts throughout our community. But please know that we don’t want anyone to endure this alone. Now is a good time to reach out and find people who can help.  

We have many resources across campus for reporting harassment and threats and finding support, including the Division of Student Life; the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; the Office of Social Justice, Inclusion & Conflict Resolution; Public Safety; and The Wellness Center. 

The Wellness Center’s counselors and psychologists are highly trained to respond with support and sensitivity to the diverse experiences of our students. Their services include monthly dialogues for students of color, as well as walk-in services during office hours and 24/7 on-call phone counseling (call 856-256-4333 after business hours and choose option 3). 

The Office of Social Justice, Inclusion & Conflict Resolution includes BIPOC Student Support Services among its many resources. Students are welcome to visit between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. to speak with someone and learn more.  

Students may also contact:

Dean of Students Kevin S. Koett
Savitz Hall, Third Floor

Residential Learning & University Housing
Savitz Hall, First Floor

Student Resiliency Coordinators
Savitz Hall, First Floor

To report discrimination, harassment and retaliation, please visit the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion’s reporting website. If you prefer to speak over the phone, please call 856-256-5830. If you prefer to remain anonymous, call the 24-hour alert line at 855-431-9967. And, for emergency reports, call Rowan University Department of Public Safety at 856-256-4922.

As terrible as this singular incident is, I want you to know it does not define who we are as a community. I expect everyone in the Rowan University family to stand up against hate, violence and racism. 

Thank you for doing your part. 

Very truly yours,

Ali A. Houshmand, Ph.D.