GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — The Stockton Federation of Teachers and Faculty Senate issued a joint statement Wednesday in response to derogatory racial slurs that were written in several locations in a wing on the Stockton University campus in November.

“The SFT deplores and condemns any and all acts of prejudice, and we offer support and solidarity to any individuals or groups targeted by them,” the statement says.

The slurs were words typically used against people of Asian descent, but it was not immediately clear whether a specific student or professor was targeted.

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The words were immediately removed, and university police said Wednesday evening they were interviewing suspects and expected to have the investigation complete by the end of the week.

The words were written near a professor’s classroom and along a path they would have walked.

The Student Senate and President Harvey Kesselman also issued statements supporting all staff and students and condemning the action.

“We will work tirelessly to ensure that we make Stockton a safe place for all students,” said a statement from the Student Senate.

Student Senate President Maryam Sarhan said she also met with the university chief of police to discuss the proper protocol and develop a guide for students who are experiencing harassment or inappropriate behavior.

Kesselman sent a statement to the university community asking everyone to join him in “reaffirming our commitment to sustain an environment where everyone feels welcome, safe, and supported.”

He said Stockton will always be committed to providing an environment of inclusiveness and recognizes the importance of having a diverse faculty, staff and student population.

In September, Stockton received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“Our community must do all it can to promote civility and respect when interacting with one another,” Kesselman said. “Civility and respect promote the free exchange of ideas, and that is the hallmark of a great public institution of higher education.”


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