Message to campus regarding a racial incident involving our student off campus

The following message was shared with students, faculty and staff by email on Sept. 23.

Dear Members of the SUNY New Paltz Community:

We learned late last night that a SUNY New Paltz student of color was accosted verbally with racial slurs by males while the student was walking in the village Monday afternoon.

Words are often criticized as hollow, and yet we cannot stand silent. We have reached out to the student and her parent to provide support. We recognize that such experiences are traumatizing and want to respect the space needed by the student but outreach to support her continues.

As leaders of this community and the College, we condemn these hateful acts and will not tolerate them. The investigation into this incident is being led by the New Paltz Police Department. Village and town officials share our condemnations and concerns and are working closely with the College to address this incident.

To be clear: This is a psychological assault on our student. We know that such experiences, especially for BIPOC, are cumulatively harmful and cause mental and physical harm that endures.

New Paltz Police Department is actively seeking suspects in this case. The incident will be investigated to the fullest extent possible. We want to allow the investigation to proceed as effectively as possible and will offer information to the community as we are able to and as we learn more.

If you have information about this incident, which occurred Monday, Sept. 21, about 2:30 p.m. between Main Street and Salvation Army on North Chestnut Street, you should contact the New Paltz Police Department at (845) 255-1323 or University Police Department at (845) 257-2222.

If you experience an incident of bias on or off campus you can notify campus officials using our Bias Reporting Form or contact the Dean of Students at (845) 257-3260.

Donald P. Christian, President
Stephanie Blaisdell, Vice President for Student Affairs
Tanhena Pacheco Dunn, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion