Anti-Semitism and religious discrimination have no place at Florida State University. I am aware of a controversy involving the FSU Student Senate President who has posted offensive anti-Semitic rhetoric online. I want to take this opportunity to unequivocally state that we will not tolerate discrimination against groups or individuals.
I understand that some Jewish students and their families, as well as some faculty members, are upset and concerned and want to be sure that FSU remains a community that embraces them. I want to pledge to them that we will stand behind our university’s stated vision of fully valuing and respecting every student, faculty and staff member.
Florida State has always aspired to be as inclusive as possible and has valued our diversity as greatly contributing to the richness of our academic enterprise. Moving forward, I welcome the engagement and advocacy of our students, faculty and staff and hope they will share their ideas as we examine ways to expand the campus culture to ensure inclusivity.
I meet regularly with FSU Student Body President Jonathan Levin, who is working diligently to unite our campus community and ensure that all students feel safe, respected and valued. I have also met with the Senate President, among others. We have begun meaningful conversations on campus on the importance of listening, understanding and more openly rejecting damaging rhetoric by some while at the same time defending the right to free speech even when we find the speech abhorrent.
I want every single person at Florida State University to be proud of the diverse environment we offer and, when they are not, to speak up and be engaged in the solution. Let’s work together to help each other advance the university we love and to ensure all students feel a part of Florida State.