On Wednesday afternoon, a Union Theological Seminary staff member found a noose hanging from pipes in an elevator room on the roof of McGiffert Hall, a residential building on campus that houses both students and faculty.
President Serene Jones issued the following statement in response:
“We are deeply disturbed and devastated by the discovery of a noose on Union’s campus. We have always strived to make Union a welcoming, inclusive, and secure place for all. This racist and threatening act is directly antithetical to those core values. The New York City police department is actively investigating this incident as a hate crime, and we are asking the community to share any information that might be relevant. We will do everything in our power to get to the bottom of this and ensure that anyone found responsible will be held accountable for their actions.
“We believe in transparency and open communication. As such, I am sharing the details of what we know so far — and what we don’t. At this point, we do not know who put the noose there or how long it had been there. There was no note and no indication of an explicit continued threat.
“We take campus safety extremely seriously, and are actively reviewing our current policies to look for ways they could be further tightened. Based on what we learn from a full investigation into this event, we will take steps to secure our campus even further.
“Keeping acts like this secret or held in silence only gives them more power to harm. As a community, we will continue to move forward and we will not be silent.”