Update on Racist Messages Directed to Penn Students

Update on Racist Messages Directed to Penn Students


Amy Gutmann, President

Vincent Price, Provost and Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President


November 13, 2016

As promised, since we have important new information, we write to provide you with an update regarding the investigation into racist messages directed to Black Penn students on Friday.

First, the criminal investigation has concluded that there are no Penn students associated with the issuance of these racist posts on GroupMe. The three individuals who have been linked to the GroupMe message that was sent to first-year Black students here at Penn reside in the state of Oklahoma. As we reported to you early Saturday morning, one of those students attends the University of Oklahoma and has been suspended from the University as they complete their internal investigation.

Second, our primary concern remains with the students who were the recipients of this dreadful hatred. Many Penn staff members are working with them to be sure that they are receiving all the support that they need. We communicated with all deans earlier today (Sunday) advising them to ensure that faculty are sensitive and responsive to the academic needs of any and all students who are impacted by this absolutely awful incident.

Finally, we call on everyone to recognize that the events of the past few days are a tragic reminder of the overt and reprehensible racism that continues to exist within some segments of our society, and that we all need to unite together as a community and a society to oppose. We are deeply saddened that Penn students were the victims of this hate, to which absolutely nobody should be subjected. Penn Police continue to work with the FBI and law enforcement in Oklahoma, and our hope is that the full investigation into this terrible incident will be concluded shortly. We will continue the work of healing with members of our community.


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