Community statement — June 4

Concerned students and community members alerted the University of Maine to a recent reposting on social media of deeply offensive racial slurs apparently made online four years ago by a prospective incoming UMaine student, who was 14 at the time. These gross, offensive and despicable words are horrific and devalue those they target. As UMaine has made clear, most recently in a May 30 message, our community works continually to ensure that inclusivity and respect — not hate and intolerance — define us. At UMaine, we work together not just to be free of bias, but to learn how to be antiracist, attacking structural racism and inequities wherever they exist. Ours is a diverse and welcoming university community, brought together by our differences and our most highly held values — among them civility, inclusion, compassion, understanding, personal responsibility and respect. UMaine Vice President for Student Life and Inclusive Excellence and Dean of Students Robert Dana has talked with the prospective student and the student’s parents about the university community’s concerns and to express our deeply held conviction that racism is not now, and will never be, accepted at the University of Maine. The student’s status will not be discussed.