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Responding to Hateful Internet Posts

February 17, 2020

Dear students, staff and faculty,

We write to condemn recent anonymous Internet posts that targeted a Smith student who is Black. The posts, which were linked to a party on campus, included racial slurs and intimidating threats. The student has been assisted by her dean, residence life staff, her professors, her friends and Campus Police. In follow-up conversations, she has informed Campus Police and her dean she feels safe and supported.

Racial bias and intimidation have no place at Smith College. An investigation is underway. If the individual or individuals who made the posts are identified as members of the Smith community, they will face the Conduct Board and/or other disciplinary bodies as appropriate.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs, Counseling Services and the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life are on alert to assist students who seek support around this incident. The Employee Assistance Program is available for employees.

Programs to educate the community regarding race and racism are ongoing and upcoming. An example of the former is IDP102: Thinking Through Race, a course for which students may earn credit and staff and faculty may audit. Examples of the latter include the Feb. 22 Black Students’ Alliance symposium on race and representation and Professor Loretta Ross’s Calling In the Call Out Culture symposium.

We stand with any in our community who have been harmed by racist speech and acts. Hate in any form is antithetical to the values of this college. We commit to keeping you updated if further information comes to light.


Kathleen McCartney

Susan Etheredge
Dean of the College and Vice President for Campus Life

Floyd Cheung
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion