Statement from Dean Linda Mason regarding February 4th use of force incident

The Graduate School is committed to ensuring Purdue is a safe and inclusive environment for all our students and postdoc researchers – particularly our Black Boilermakers, whose communities are disproportionately impacted by police violence. That is why we were disturbed to learn about the incident that occurred on the evening of February 4th involving a PUPD officer’s use of force against a student.

We stand by the university’s dedication to maintaining a community that recognizes and values the inherent worth and dignity of every person and fosters tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect among its members, as outlined in our Nondiscrimination Policy Statement, and we stand firmly against systemic racism and social injustice. As such, we echo calls for swift action in the form of a thorough and transparent investigation into the officer’s actions, as well as the release of all video evidence associated with this incident. 

We want to reiterate our commitment to taking meaningful action to help Purdue become an institution where all members of our community have a sense of safety and belonging, and we encourage those impacted by this event to seek help. Purdue Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is offering virtual and in-person drop-in discussions at The Black Cultural Center (BCC) to support our community, as well as a Black Healing Conversation at The Black Cultural Center on Monday, 2/21/22, at 6:30 p.m. Additional resources can be found on our Wellness Resources page.

We urge anyone who experiences or witnesses incidents of bias or harassment to submit a Hate & Bias report regardless of whether the incident occurs on- or off-campus. We understand that some may feel reluctant to report such incidents, so we encourage you to connect with any of the campus advocates below if you would like support.

There are many allies in the Purdue community who are here to support your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. So, if you need help or an empathetic ear, please reach out to us, or any of the above-mentioned resources.


Linda J. Mason
Dean Graduate School and Professor of Entomology
Young Hall 170, West Lafayette, IN 47907 765-494-2600
Dean’s Adm. Asst. Casey Hollingsworth

February 11, 2022

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