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University Of Hartford President Denounces "Hateful" Email

Mark Goebel
Creative Commons

The University of Hartford is investigating an email sent to some campus accounts referencing white supremacy Saturday night, and its president is denouncing the missive. 

"I am writing to say in the strongest possible way that this message has no place at the University of Hartford, and whoever sent the email is a hateful coward," university President Walter Harrison wrote in an email Monday. He went on to say that the university values diversity and that prejudice has no place at the school.

On Saturday, an email apparently went to some members of the school community that purported to be from a group called American Vanguard. Its text doesn’t make specific reference to the university itself, but it begins with the message that "White America is under attack." 

The language mirrors that on the group's website. The University of Hartford is not the only school to have received a similarly worded message.

On Sunday morning, officials sent a public safety alert saying that it was investigating "both the organization and how they were able to access our email system."

Then, Monday afternoon, Harrison responded in an email to the university community.

"[I] want to be clear that the University recognizes and values freedom of speech, but unlawful conduct and behavior that violates University policy will not be tolerated," Harrison said. "We have all seen the power of the internet and social media to spread hateful messages and fear, but we aspire to be a community in which all of our members feel safe and secure."

Harrison said the investigation is ongoing.

Jeff Cohen started in newspapers in 2001 and joined Connecticut Public in 2010, where he worked as a reporter and fill-in host. In 2017, he was named news director. Then, in 2022, he became a senior enterprise reporter.
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