Hate crimes will not be tolerated at the University of St. Thomas

Hate crimes will not be tolerated at the University of St. Thomas

By Father Dennis Dease, president

This university has a history of vigorously condemning hate crimes when they take place on our campus.

We were saddened to learn that such a crime occurred – in the form of racially motivated graffiti – early Thursday morning, March 2, in Brady Residence Hall. As you might have read in a Public Safety alert issued that day, this crime is being actively investigated.

Hateful graffiti has no place in our community, whether motivated by racism, sexism or homophobia. Such behavior is condemned in the university’s Convictions and its Statement on Offensive Behaviors, and it will not be tolerated. In addition to written policies, we need to speak out against hate when it surfaces on our campus.

Last Thursday, on the same day that this graffiti appeared in one of our residence halls, we welcomed to campus a well-known speaker, Jane Elliott. In her talk, sponsored by our All College Council and Students for Justice and Peace, she discussed her famous “blue eyes-brown eyes” exercise that exposes participants to the experience of prejudice and bigotry.

Also that day, Multicultural Student Services and Personal Counseling hosted the first of a two-part event, “It’s Time to Talk: A Dialogue on Race and Racism.” All are invited and encouraged to attend the second dialogue, which will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. today, March 6, in the Fireside Lounge of Koch Commons.

At a time when we condemn hate crimes, we also should applaud the ongoing efforts of campus organizations that actively work to combat them.