Dear Mizzou community,
Yesterday, three separate university-related Zoom sessions were disrupted by several individuals using hateful, discriminatory and reprehensible language. These intrusive acts, which are becoming more common across the country and have come to be known as “Zoombombing,” are violations of our university’s policies (600.010) and an affront to basic human values. They will not be tolerated.
Mizzou is committed to building an inclusive community free from discrimination. Our core values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence demand nothing less than a safe, open and supportive environment that is conducive to learning, and this is true whether classes and meetings are being held in person or remotely through any online tool.
We know this behavior was hurtful to all who were subjected to it. Please know that we are doing all that we can to address this matter in a way that best supports the success of all our students, faculty and staff, particularly during this time of stress and challenge for everyone.
As we continue to conduct the university’s operations remotely, I strongly encourage anyone hosting Zoom sessions to familiarize themselves with the platform’s best practices. Zoom recently released a guide to Securing Your Classroom. There, you can learn how to lock your virtual classroom, control screen sharing, enable a waiting room, lock down chat sessions, remove participants, and explore security options when scheduling a class. You can also visit Zoom’s post on preventing session crashers.
Please note the following recommendations and recent Zoom updates that will help create a more secure environment in your meetings and virtual classrooms
- All UM System students, faculty and staff should immediately create an authenticated account to use Zoom if you have not already done so. Visit umsystem.zoom.us to create an authenticated account. Please do not use Zoom as a guest user. To obtain a HIPAA compliant account, log in at umsystemprotected.zoom.us to authenticate your account. Once you have authenticated your account, you should log in before joining meetings.
- Zoom waiting rooms are strongly encouraged. The use of waiting rooms will keep external users from automatically joining. If you keep the setting enabled, participants can’t join until the host clicks to allow. Meeting hosts can choose to turn off waiting rooms at the time of meeting set up. Read more about managing waiting rooms.
- Screen share default settings in Zoom allow only meeting hosts to share their screen until they click in account settings to allow participants to share if necessary. Learn more about enabling screen share.
Read more about instructor and meeting host tips for Zoom. Should you have any questions or experience complications using Zoom with these new settings, please contact our IT help desk at 573-882-5000.
I also urge anyone who experiences any form of discrimination to report the incident to the Office for Civil Rights & Title IX, which will work to address the situation in an appropriate manner. All members of the university community — as well as visitors and third parties — can report incidents. Let me reiterate that incidents do not need to take place on MU’s physical campus to be reported. You can report an incident three ways:
- Online: Report using our online incident report form. The information will be sent directly to the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX.
- Email: Send an email to email@example.com describing the incident, including the date and the names of people involved.
- Phone: Call 573-882-3880 to provide basic information. The Office for Civil Rights and Title IX will return your call.
Once again, I want to thank you for your resilience in this trying time. Each of you is proof that whether we operate in person or virtually, our community is more than up to the task of meeting any challenge in our path. Wherever you might be as you read this, know that Mizzou is here for you.
Mun Y. Choi
President, UM System
Interim Chancellor, University of Missouri