This was my email to President Susan Herbst (president@uconn.edu) after hearing about how the writer of an interesting and thought-provoking piece on the administration’s rebranding mission was threatened by both UConn and non-UConn students alike.

I’m a UConn Honors Program & CLAS ’12 alum. I know you are probably inundated with hundreds if not thousands of emails a day, but I hope you take the time to read and respond to them. It has recently come to my attention that a thoughtful open letter written by a current student has been reposted with malicious intent to skew her words, leading to violent and quite credible threats against her. Although I am no longer a UConn student, I am very concerned about the image that this is giving UConn. I am proud of my degree and, in my position as a high school teacher, have encouraged my students to think about and attend UConn for a quality education, but as of right now, I couldn’t be more ashamed of the connection. 

The fact that this young woman is being attacked by UConn students and non-UConn students alike and that this has not been addressed by your administration yet is disappointing to me. This lack of action is proving the premise of her letter–that the actions of the administration and the university implies that you care more about certain aspects of the university (athletics) than you care about the well-being of every individual member of the student body.

And that is reprehensible.

<Updated: Here is the response I received, which, being rather formulaic, says nothing at all:

I firmly believe that our students, like all people, should be able to express themselves without being insulted or degraded as a result. As an institution, the university takes these issues very seriously, supports the right of free speech among all members of our community and stands strongly against harassment or intimidation of any kind. When a student is subjected to harassment, the university works closely with him or her to provide any resources they may need.

For additional information, please find UConn’s policy on harassment here, information on sexual violence awareness here and the student code of conduct here.>