On the Recent Tragedy in North Carolina

Dear Members of the Rutgers Community,

I know many of you feel as shocked and deeply saddened as I do by the fatal shooting of three young Muslim students in their Chapel Hill, NC apartment Tuesday evening.  I have heard from so many in our community over the last two days who are trying to make sense of this terrible and violent event.  While it is too soon to know what really motivated this act, it is not too soon to declare with conviction that, irrespective of motive, there is no place for such violence in our community.

In the harsh light of this tragedy, we should reaffirm our own community’s commitment to accept and value each other, to respect our differences, and to protect and honor all human life.  Rutgers is, by intent, home to one of the most diverse academic communities in the nation. We place tremendous value on the breadth of human experience, and we celebrate our diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. These differences contribute to making our community a richer place—not just a place where we live, but also one where we thrive.

At Rutgers, we honor our diversity by standing up for differences in values and customs, by protecting speech, and by participating in conversations that are not always easy.  We stand together against anything that threatens another’s liberty, safety, or security, because an attack on any one of us, however motivated, is an attack on all of us. Let us continue to embrace these values as a university community and as members of a global society. And above all, let us strive to ensure that all our community members feel safe, secure, respected, and valued.


Bob Barchi