Stanford statement regarding Facebook post
Stanford University issued the following statement on Aug. 3, 2018.
We have heard many expressions of profound concern in recent days over the issues surrounding a Facebook post by a Stanford student scheduled to be a resident assistant (RA) in the upcoming 2018-19 academic year.
The university has been engaged with the student author of the post, and he has made the decision to step down from his staff position as an RA, expressing deep regret for the original post and recognizing the importance of promoting healing across the many communities that make up the Stanford community.
At the time of the original Facebook posting, the author rapidly amended it to make clear that he does not support physical violence, and he apologized for the original post in a letter to members of the Jewish community at Stanford. In addition, in a new statement he has made, the student acknowledges the adverse effects this episode has had in our community. His decision to step down as an RA puts the interests of the broader community first.
Following standard university procedure in cases of possible threat, the university has conducted an extensive case assessment, and concluded that the student does not pose a physical threat to other members of the community. His consent allows us to share this information, which is normally private, for the benefit of the community.
As we have said before but cannot emphasize strongly enough, threats of physical violence have absolutely no place in the Stanford community. Students must feel physically safe in our student residences and be able to voice their views on our campus without fear of retaliation. However, in addition to physical safety, it is essential that all students feel a deep and abiding sense of welcome and belonging in our campus community.
The effects of the original post have continued rippling through our campus community and beyond. There have been many expressions of concern for the safety of Jewish students at Stanford. There also have been expressions of concern at the social media campaigns, including death threats, which have been targeting the author of the post, along with concern for the well-being of other communities as they return to campus this fall. Staff in multiple parts of the university have been working over the last many days to check in with students and extend our support to them.
There is much work yet to be done to help our community work through the issues that have arisen from this episode. We are a learning community, and just as the author of the post has told us he intends to do, we must all work together to learn from it. We will be meeting with students on all sides of the issue to hear ideas for additional steps that can be taken to assure their feeling of safety and comfort in our community. A variety of resources to help us navigate this process have been suggested by some of those who have been in touch with the university in recent days, and we will be looking closely at those resources.
Thoughtful engagement with each other is our aspiration and expectation at Stanford, and we must continue working toward that end.