SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – University of Utah officials are investigating a reported hate crime incident that happened on campus,
In late September 2021, a university contractor was making a delivery to the loading dock at a residence hall on campus. As he was on the dock, two students in a room above allegedly shouted the N-word. The students also threw sunflower seeds and coffee pods out the window at the contractor, a press release from the University says.
School officials say the incident was reported immediately and they were able to identify the individuals responsible and hold them accountable through the conduct process.
The victim was then connected with University resources and reported the incident to University Police in November. Currently, Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime (intimidation motivated by bias).
In a statement, University President Taylor Randall condemned the actions, saying:
“Let me be clear, racist and hateful behavior on our campus is an offense to our entire community, particularly our communities of color. These actions will be called out for what they are—behaviors rooted in hate and racism. I will remain steadfast and vocal in our working with our leadership team to create a safe, welcoming, and equitable campus that fosters values of respect, diversity, inclusivity, and belonging. I encourage everyone on our campus to do the same.”
The school says the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team is working with appropriate departments to monitor and prevent incidents like this from happening in the future.
The Vice President for Student Affairs Lori Mcdonald says, “We are stronger and more capable as a community when we build an environment where everyone feels welcomed, heard, and accepted for who they are. We are committed to meeting acts of hate—which compromise this culture—with actions of consequence when they violate the law or university policy. We will continue to provide support and resources to those targeted by this type of racist behavior.”
U of U advises any student that has been the target of bias, intolerance, or discrimination to report the incident to the Office for Inclusive Excellence or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.