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CMU concludes inquiry into anti-Semitic Valentine card

University issues a statement on actions and next steps

Contact: Heather Smith

​The Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity at Central Michigan University has concluded its inquiry into an anti-Semitic Valentine card that was distributed on campus Wednesday night following a student organization event.

OCRIE Executive Director Katherine Lasher said her staff has talked with the individuals involved and determined the card was the misguided action of one individual, who readily admitted her role. The young woman is not a CMU student and has left Mount Pleasant.

"The grossly offensive action of one individual, a nonstudent, has deeply distressed our campus community and others across the nation," President George E. Ross said. "With heavy hearts and great embarrassment, we apologize. To those of Jewish descent, rest assured that we stand with you and vow to continue the effort to educate others."

Lasher said her staff talked with and determined leaders of the student organization, College Republicans at CMU, were unaware of the card. Damon Brown, director of student activities and involvement, said members of the student organization are shocked and remorseful.

Actions so far and next steps:

  • CMU Police have consulted with the county prosecutor, who said this matter is not a criminal act.
  • The Office of Student Activities and Involvement will engage with student organizations, continuing to educate them on why such behavior is unacceptable and reinforcing the need to uphold CMU values such as inclusivity and respect.
  • The Office of Institutional Diversity is planning related educational programming.
  • OCRIE will offer to have an educational session with the College Republicans and offer workshops, in partnership with Institutional Diversity staff, to other student organizations as well.

"The journey toward diversity, inclusivity, respect, peace, integrity and ethical leadership at times seems endless," Ross said. "Yet, the actions of our students, faculty and staff through this — coming together against hate and ignorance — can give us all hope. With varied political opinions and life views, we stand today in solidarity. In that, we embrace our future."

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