September 15, 2020

Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,

I have been made aware that earlier this evening during an open Zoom session of William Smith Congress and Hobart Student Government, an anonymous, vile demonstration of anti-Black racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic hate speech invaded our community. To all those who had to experience this, please know how deeply saddened I am that you were subjected to this affront.

Campus Safety and IT Services are already investigating this incident of Zoom bombing to see if we can identify the perpetrator and take recourse. I am also directing them to assess our standards and protocols for protecting our Zoom sessions and to communicate effective steps we can take in order to keep this from happening again.

At times like this, we need to come together to bear witness to the collective impact of the moment. I invite everyone in our community to join me tomorrow at 6 p.m. when Vice President Khuram Hussain will convene us so that we can listen to and support each other, and care for our community together (you can register here).

Tonight and going forward, please reach out to, listen to, support and care for each other. Please also consider utilizing the Counseling Center resources for support. In addition, the members of the Bias Incident Response team (names listed below) are here for you. If you have an existing connection to any one of them or would like to make such a connection, please reach out. They and I also encourage anyone to use our Bias Incident Report system to make us aware of any situation, incident or experience that demonstrates intolerance in any of its manifest forms so that we can address these situations as well as track bias incident occurrences in our community.

Sentiments of hatred and intolerance try to weaken us all, but we will be stronger through working together to overcome them.


Joyce P. Jacobsen

Bias Incident Report Team:

  • Brandon Barile, Assistant Vice President of Campus Life and Dean of Student Engagement and Conduct
  • Shelle Basilio-Murray, Assistant Dean of Student Engagement
  • William Boerner, Title IX Coordinator
  • Nita Byrd, Chaplain
  • Marty Corbett, Associate Vice President for Campus Safety
  • Robb Flowers, Vice President for Campus Life
  • Renee Grant, Associate Director of Intercultural Affairs and HEOP
  • Khuram Hussain, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (chair)
  • Alejandra Molina, Director of Intercultural Affairs
  • Kelly Payne, Assistant Dean, William Smith College
  • Tasha Prosper, Associate Director of the Counseling Center
  • Joe Rusinko, Associate Dean of Faculty Development
  • Sonya Williams, Vice President for Human Resources
  • Lisa Yoshikawa, Associate Professor of History