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Statement by Drew Faust on threatening emails

Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, Mass.

Many of you may be aware of a troubling incident last month in which threatening, racist emails were sent to members of our community, mostly Harvard College students, who are of Asian or Asian-American descent. Our investigations have revealed that they were sent from a source outside the United States. Any form of aggression, and any targeting of members of our community based on ethnicity, is a threat to our commitment to a safe, inclusive environment in which every individual of every background feels a sense of safety and belonging, in which every individual has the opportunity to thrive. The violent language in these emails frightened our students, and undermined their ability to fully pursue their studies and other activities. The emails are deplorable and intolerable. We are a community of ideas, and ideals. Diversity and openness are values we cherish and must be vigilant to defend.

I want to thank everyone—Dean Khurana, his colleagues in the college, the housemasters, the members of the HUPD and many others—who have over the past month worked to support our students and to track down and address the source of these emails.