Last updated: February 14, 2024
Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7, followed by the war in Gaza, has prompted passionate reactions across Northeastern’s global community. Consistent with its educational mission, the university encourages civil dialogue on this complex topic. As always, the safety and security of our community is paramount, and we do not tolerate violence, harassment, intimidation, or actions and words that advocate for harm against others.
We will continue to update this FAQ with resources and information as they become available.
On October 10, Northeastern President Joseph Aoun, Provost David Madigan, and Chancellor Ken Henderson sent a message to the university community. The message clearly and unequivocally condemned terrorism and the killing of innocent people. The full text of this statement—which was also posted on the university’s social media channels—can be found here.
Immediately following the Hamas terror attacks of October 7, the university’s global security team identified students working or studying in Israel and quickly arranged for their evacuation from the region. Northeastern’s global team of security staff and consultants continues to closely monitor the situation.
Additional safety protocols, coordinated by the Northeastern University Police Department (NUPD), have been implemented on every campus. All Northeastern campuses have dedicated safety personnel at their locations, with an increased presence at the Boston, London, and Oakland campuses given their large student populations. All NUin sites also have a dedicated team member who is tasked with coordinating with local law enforcement and communicating with NUPD in Boston.
As a research institution with an educational mission, Northeastern takes pride in our faculty’s expertise and our role as a venue for respectful dialogue and debate. Over the past six weeks, Northeastern’s Center for International Affairs and World Cultures has organized a series of panel discussions focused on the history and context of the current conflict, including perspectives from experts in law, Jewish studies, political science, and international diplomacy. The university has been publishing frequent commentary and analysis of the latest developments by our faculty experts in a wide range of disciplines. We will continue to add opportunities to disseminate knowledge and model respectful conversations.
All campus events—including invitations to nonaffiliated speakers, celebrations, and demonstrations—go through a rigorous vetting process and require approval from the Division of Student Life. The Center for Student Involvement maintains a detailed list of protocols that not only provides explicit guidelines for events, but also aims to give student leaders the tools to adjust their plans and actions and resolve conflicts. Student Life staff receive training throughout the year on how to proactively handle demonstrations or disruptions to events, and both Student Life staff and NUPD are always present at all approved protests.
Northeastern supports the rights of students, faculty, and staff to express their views in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct and other university policies such as the Faculty Handbook. Anyone who is not affiliated with the university is prohibited from participating in demonstrations on university property, even if invited to do so by a student, employee, or faculty member. NUPD and designated campus officials are authorized to request anyone on a Northeastern campus to identify themselves with their campus ID card. Nonaffiliated persons engaged in protests or demonstrations will be escorted off campus.
If an unauthorized demonstration takes place, NUPD and Student Life staff will be notified immediately and establish a presence at the event. NUPD and Student Life will speak directly with the students involved, identify student leaders, and manage the situation to ensure it comes to a quick and peaceful conclusion. The goal is to engage in real-time discussion to inform protesters of the rules and boundaries around campus gatherings and to ensure that all parties handle themselves with dignity and respect. In all cases this semester, NUPD and staff have successfully brought unsanctioned protests to a close in a peaceful manner.
While civil discourse is encouraged, the university does not tolerate harassment, intimidation, hate speech, or the use of symbols or signage that are unambiguously antisemitic, Islamophobic, discriminatory, or create a hostile environment for students, faculty, or staff. On a case by case basis, colleagues from NUPD, Student Life, the Office of General Counsel, and Facilities will remove inappropriate signage, investigate, and determine appropriate disciplinary actions.
The Student Conduct Process begins when a member of the university staff witnesses a violation, or when a report alleging a violation of university policy is received by the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR), Residential Life, Global Experience Office, the Center for Student Involvement, or NUPD. The university reserves the right to act in a manner it deems necessary or appropriate to address alleged violations and promote the safety and well-being of the campus community. Often an investigation will be conducted as needed to resolve the complaints and/or infractions. All students are expected to adhere to the Code of Student Conduct on all Northeastern campuses.
Sanctions for student violations of university policy may include, but are not limited to, loss of privileges, probation, suspension, or expulsion from the university. Student organizations can also face probation, suspension, or revocation of recognition. Faculty and staff can face disciplinary action in accordance with the Faculty Handbook and/or other employment policies.
On Friday, December 1st, students affiliated with Huskies for a Free Palestine held a demonstration in an open area of the Curry Student Center on the Boston campus. Several of the group’s leaders did not comply with clear direction from NUPD and Student Life staff. Those students are now facing disciplinary action consistent with the Code of Student Conduct.
Depending on the facts, sanctions for the violation of university policy may include, but are not limited to, loss of privileges, probation, suspension, or expulsion.
Due to privacy policies—including longstanding federal law—the university does not disclose the outcome of individual disciplinary proceedings.
Doxxing is a form of harassment that involves publicly exposing someone’s private information, such as their name, address, job, or other identifying information without their consent. All instances of doxxing are a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Offenses should be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, Residential Life, Spiritual Advisors, the Office of University Equity and Compliance, or the Center for Student Involvement (contact information at the end of this FAQ).
As described in the Faculty Handbook, the university does not impose limitations upon the freedom of faculty members in the exposition of the subjects they teach. However, classroom discussions, including of controversial matters, should serve pedagogical goals, not political agendas. The university does not limit the freedom of faculty members with regard to research, scholarship, or creative activity. Faculty members are always expected to exercise appropriate discretion and professional judgment in all facets of their teaching and research, and abide by Northeastern’s policies. Students may contact the Office for University Equity and Compliance if they believe their professor is engaged in political advocacy or bias.
Northeastern is the world leader in experiential learning, powered by a co-op program that maintains connections to thousands of employer partners. Students seek out co-ops with employers that align with – and enhance – their classroom studies. The university does not impose a political test on employers, nor would we support efforts to curtail students’ experiential learning options. We would hope that students who have strong political viewpoints would not try to impose their views in a way that limited opportunities for their classmates.
Northeastern’s endowment is invested to maximize opportunities for advancing the university’s educational and research mission. The endowment should not be seen as an instrument to serve specific political agendas or weigh in on matters upon which reasonable people can disagree. It is important to underscore that Northeastern does not hold direct investments in any companies. This is because the endowment is invested primarily in commingled funds—akin to mutual funds for individual investors—that include securities across a broad range of economic sectors.
This is a challenging time when many members of our community are seeking support. We encourage students on our campuses to reach out to their Residential Life staff and to the many offices that offer resources for mental health and emotional and spiritual support, including:
WeCare: 617.373.7591 and email@example.com
Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service: 617.373.2728 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: email@example.com
FIND at Northeastern: +1.877.233.9477 (U.S.), 855.229.8797 (Canada), or +1.781.457.7777(International)
University Health and Counseling Services: 617-373-2772 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): 510-430-2111 and email@example.com
NUPD is available 24/7 to any Northeastern community member at any campus who feels unsafe or who has questions or concerns about behavior.
For immediate emergency assistance call 617.373.3333.
For general non-emergency inquiries call 617.373.2121.
The following offices can also assist with reporting incidents:
The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution: 617.373.4390 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Office hours are also available, as listed on their website.
Spiritual Advisors at the Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service: 617.373.2728 and email@example.com
FIND: +1.877.233.9477 (U.S.), 855.229.8797 (Canada), or +1.781.457.7777 (International)
The Office for University Equity and Compliance: 617.373.4644 or firstname.lastname@example.orgAdditional information, including reporting options, is available on their website: https://www.northeastern.edu/ouec/
Center for Student Involvement: 617.373.2642 or email@example.com