Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Yesterday's email from the UNF president

From the desk of President John Delaney:

I wanted to follow up on a message I sent to the campus community earlier today, about a flurry of social media posts which included a threatening message and a disturbing image. While Federal law (FERPA) normally prohibits me from discussing details, the student in question has self-identified to a news organization. This gives me the opportunity to share the facts that the student has released to the media. 

The student calls himself a white supremacist, is a former member of the KKK, but is now a member of another white supremacist group. He posted a photo of himself with a gun in the context of confronting members of a student group, the Students for a Democratic Society, which is linked to the Black Lives Matter movement.  The photo was taken off campus. The thread of his posts also included a threatening message. These actions led to his immediate suspension. In addition, he has been barred from campus, pending a conduct hearing next week. He can only come on campus when escorted by a police officer.   

There have been a swarm of rumors surrounding this incident. As I said earlier today, rumors about a gun being displayed on campus are not true, and we did not order a lockdown of a building. 

In an abundance of caution, the University Police Department will have officers in uniform visible on campus, along with undercover officers in plain clothes. This is not a reason to be alarmed: this is the UPD being proactive. 

There is no need for classes to be canceled as I feel confident there is no threat to the campus. 

I understand this is a sensitive matter that has put some on edge. But we have always been a caring, supportive community and our strengths outweigh this incident. Further, no one should confuse the acts of a small handful of students with all that UNF is. We embrace diversity.

As I have said in the past, if you see something or hear something of concern, contact the UPD at (904) 620-2800. There are also many support groups on campus ready to help.