University Statements


Statement Regarding Bias Incident

June 8, 2011

Cornell University Police are investigating the reported assault on one of our students that occurred on Sunday, June 5, 2011 along West Avenue near Mennen Hall. The facts uncovered to date indicate that there was an element of racial bias to the attack against our student, who is of Asian descent.

While we are relieved to report that the victim of this incident is expected to recover fully, we are dismayed that such an incident should have occurred at all in our community. We will not tolerate such behavior and are committed to investigating the incident fully.  We remain committed to strengthening our campus community so that all can feel safe and thrive.

Ezra Cornell founded our university with the vision of a place "...where any person can find instruction in any study," and Cornell has been at the forefront of higher education in welcoming students, faculty and staff from all walks of life. To be true to our founding vision, we espouse a greater understanding of the world, and as global citizens we encourage a higher standard of civility.

Cornell police are very actively investigating the incident in a concerted effort with other law enforcement agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice, and have asked the Tompkins County District Attorney's Office to determine whether the incident meets the legal standards of a Hate Crime. Moreover, Cornell police are interviewing witnesses to this incident and believe that there are more witnesses that have not come forward.  We ask anyone who witnessed or has information related to this incident to contact Cornell University Police at 607-255-1111.

As details come forth about this case, we will keep the campus community informed. Make no mistake—biased-based violence will not be tolerated at Cornell University. Please join us in wishing our fellow Cornellian a full and speedy recovery.

Susan H. Murphy
Vice President for Student and Academic Services

David J. Skorton
President