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President’s statement on discovery of noose

Dear Stanford community,

I’m writing to convey my distress and outrage at the discovery of a noose on campus, as Vice Provosts Susie Brubaker-Cole and Patrick Dunkley reported to you late Sunday night.

A noose is a hateful representation of anti-Black racism and violence. It is deeply disturbing that someone would choose to inflict this repugnant symbol on our community.

We are working in vigorous and committed ways to advance equity, inclusion, and belonging in our Stanford community. We have been making progress. But incidents like this one show how far we still have to go. It is especially dispiriting that this incident does not exist in isolation, but is part of a longer series of incidents, here and elsewhere, that continue to seek to intimidate and marginalize members of the Black community and many other communities because of their identity.

As Susie and Patrick shared with you, the noose is being investigated by the Department of Public Safety and also is being addressed through our Protected Identity Harm reporting process. Updates on the case are available on the PIH website. If you have any information that would assist with the police investigation, I urge you to share it expeditiously with the Department of Public Safety.

My heart aches for the members of our Black community who are experiencing a full range of emotions as a result of the appearance of this noose, including feeling targeted, fearful, or dismayed. I stand with you in rejecting hate and in stating that conduct of this kind has no place at Stanford.

I also feel urgent resolve for us to continue working together to create the better Stanford community we seek. Day in and day out, we must continue building the education, awareness, and community norms that, beyond forestalling acts of hatred, will produce true and meaningful inclusion.


Marc Tessier-Lavigne