Dear Members of the Rutgers–New Brunswick Community:
I am deeply disturbed and saddened to learn of racist and bigoted Zoom-bombings that have been occurring in the past several days during non-academic student events. The most recent incidents took place during Black History Month programs hosted by the Paul Robeson Cultural Center and the Center for Social Justice Education & LGBTQ Communities.
While we will not give these bigoted individuals the platform they cowardly sought by going into details, I do want us all to acknowledge the harm done to Black and LGBTQ members of our community, and affirm their pain. Marginalized communities are too often forced to bear such hatred and navigate in spite of it, and moments like this cut and wound deeply. I strongly condemn these horrific acts. Please know that as Chancellor, I stand in solidarity with you, as do all of us at Rutgers-New Brunswick.
My office is working with President Holloway, the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD), the Office of Information Technology (OIT), and the Division of Student Affairs to investigate these hate-fueled attacks with the seriousness they deserve. If you would like to report a Zoom-bombing or other IT incident, please utilize the online reporting system. This information not only aids us in supporting you, but will also help the investigation.
This is an active and ongoing investigation, and it appears that these attacks are not localized, and likely part of a larger coordinated international activity. This creates some challenges, as it requires the involvement of various jurisdictions and technology companies. We will not resolve this overnight, and it is likely that incidents like these may reoccur before the perpetrators are identified. Therefore, we must remain vigilant to protect our community.
Due to these recent malicious activities, it’s imperative that we take the steps needed to minimize risk and prevent further harm. OIT has an extensive list of resources with guidance on web conferencing security, including key tips to avoid Zoom-bombing. If you have questions or need advice, please reach out to the OIT Help Desk or your department’s technology staff. Counselors are also available to any student seeking support.
As Scarlet Knights, an attack on one of us is an attack on us all. I am confident that we will support each other as we stand against hatred.
Christopher J. Molloy, Ph.D. (PHARM '77, GSNB '87)
Chancellor, Rutgers–New Brunswick