Dear Friends and Members of the University Community,
Many of you have raised serious concerns about the mock eviction notices that were posted recently in three residence halls on the Boca Raton campus. As you may know, these postings did not comply with University policy governing the distribution of printed materials, and were subsequently removed.
We want to update you on steps that the University has taken and information that we have learned since that time. We have received disturbing reports of threats, hostility, and intolerance from and against fellow members of our community in connection with these postings. We have also heard allegations that these postings intentionally targeted certain members of our community.
Just as the University does not, and will not, tolerate censorship of free expression, so will we not tolerate tactics that are intended to threaten, intimidate, harass or demean members of our community. We denounce all such tactics and will cooperate with law enforcement in the prosecution, to the fullest extent of the law, of individuals who undertake them.
We have spent the last several days meeting with students, staff, and concerned members of our community regarding this incident. Our efforts have focused on determining the extent of the violation of University policy, and on educating students about the importance of expressing their beliefs, political and otherwise, within the boundaries of applicable law and University policy. We have discussed at length the importance of respect for the intellectual property rights of third parties, as well as respect for divergent views that will most certainly exist within a community as proudly diverse as ours. We have also spent significant time working with law enforcement as they investigate the threats of violence that have, sadly, stemmed from this incident.
We can confirm that, although the postings failed to comply with University policy and should not have been distributed as they were, we have found no evidence that the postings were intended to target or intimidate individuals of any particular religion, national origin or faith. All available evidence indicates that the postings were distributed randomly, without regard to the identity of any person who may have received or viewed them.
We will continue to meet with University faculty, staff, students, and members of the community who may have questions or who may wish to discuss this incident further. We have taken appropriate corrective steps with University staff. We will continue to raise awareness of the importance of respecting one another's viewpoints within the boundaries of University policy, so that incidents like this do not recur.
Charles L. Brown, Ph.D.
Vice President of Student Affairs at FAU