A message from the Penn State Abington chancellor on recent Zoom bombings

Dear Penn State Abington Community,

Penn State Abington has not been immune to the Zoom attacks that have occurred during the past year. Many of these incidents are racially motivated and have targeted our communities of color. I have expressed my sadness and horror to the victims of these attacks on the Abington campus, and I condemn the perpetrators and their actions.

Anyone who has experienced a virtual attack of this nature or who feels impacted by these events may reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for support. University Police and Public Safety offer resources through its Victim Services unit. Zoom bombings can be reported to 814-863-1111, regardless of your campus location, or online through the Report a Crime form.

The Abington campus and Penn State are engaging in ongoing efforts to help create a safer and more secure Zoom environment while ensuring that our students, faculty and staff have access to events. Penn State has resources and support available to our campus, and we will draw on these as well as continue to work locally to create virtual learning environments free from hate-filled attacks.

The responses that are available to our community continue to evolve. In addition to the already established security measures and requirements for virtual events, we have dedicated resources to proactively protect events that we believe may be targets. These resources will include an internal process of safety protocols during the organization phase and trained technical staff who will work with the organizer to admit participants and monitor chat and other activities with the ability to stop attacks as quickly as possible.

We will continue to be proactive in the ways to help create a safer and more secure Zoom environment. The resources that are currently available through Penn State and Penn State Abington can be found here. If you need assistance with setting up your Zoom event, send your meeting information to [email protected] and an Office of Information Technology team member will reach out to you.

I want to reiterate University President Eric Barron's recent statement: “These vile activities are reprehensible and the disruption and trauma they create is inexcusable. We must continue to stand strong together against these appalling incidents and show that our community will not tolerate the hate-filled words and actions of those who hide behind the anonymity of a computer screen. These are criminal activities and, if found, we will hold the perpetrators responsible.”

Margo DelliCarpini, Chancellor, Penn State Abington