To all St. Thomas students, faculty and staff,
On Oct. 19, we were deeply saddened to learn of a bias-motivated incident in Brady Hall. In a blatant disregard for our university commitment to be welcoming and inclusive and our conviction to diversity, “Nigger go back” was written on a student’s door. As university leaders, we unequivocally condemn this act of hate and call on all members of our St. Thomas community to work together to ensure that everyone understands that this kind of cowardly act has no place at St. Thomas, or anywhere else. This behavior violates our convictions as a Catholic university and our code of conduct, and it will not be tolerated.
The university is actively investigating the Oct. 19 incident and calls on anyone who may have knowledge of the situation to come forward. Anonymous tips may be submitted at (651) 962-TIPS (8477) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Any student found to be involved will be referred through the student conduct process and subject to sanctions up to and including expulsion.
Regrettably, this is not the first time an incident like this has occurred so let us be very clear: All are welcome here. On Friday, our community of color was targeted, but all of us lose when any member of our community is made to feel isolated, unsafe and unwelcome. As a university, we are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for everyone. We call on every member of our community to denounce this act of hate and to work together to ensure it does not happen again.
In the coming days, we encourage and support students, faculty and staff who stand together in denouncing all forms of racism and bigotry. We invite you to join in conversations on campus to address bias and injustice. All of us play a role in not tolerating acts of racism and creating an environment where all feel welcomed and valued.
Dr. Julie Sullivan, President
Dr. Richard Plumb, Executive Vice President and Provost
Editor’s Note: On Oct. 25, Dr. Sullivan published an Action Plan to Combat Racism