BLM Sign Defacement/Vandalism


Current Status:
Resolved

Although we believe this situation has been addressed in a way that should prevent future reoccurrence, those who believe they have been the target of bias, intolerance or discrimination may report an incident to the public incident report form (bias and intolerance) or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (sexual misconduct and discrimination).

Please direct any questions or concerns in regard to this bias incident to the Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer at RBIresponse@utah.edu.

This week, we learned a “Black Lives Matter” sign inside the School of Medicine was repeatedly defaced since the beginning of August. The owner of the sign first wrote “Black Lives Matter” on a whiteboard on their office door and came back to find “Black” had been erased. They replaced the whiteboard with a “BLM” sign taped to the door and returned to find cut marks on both the sign and the office door.

This aggressive act goes against the university’s policy, values and mission. Our Racist & Bias Incident Response Team has been notified and is working with the appropriate departments to identify the person(s) responsible, as well as communicate with the most impacted communities.

At a time when nationwide protests over the killings of Black people continue and the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting African Americans, we stand in full support of the Black Lives Matter movement and are actively taking steps to become an anti-racist campus grounded in equity and inclusion.

We want any member of our campus community who has been impacted by this incident to know that we recognize the profound anger, hurt, fear and frustration these acts cause. We know that when we say Black lives matter, we must also act like Black lives matter. Creating a safe, welcoming and equitable campus is our top priority, and is our intent to hold anyone acting against this mission accountable.

If you come across an item that is defaced, note the location and notify a campus official. If you have questions about the university’s posting policy or are interested in learning more about the variety of resources the U offers to support diversity and inclusion, please visit the Office of the Dean of Students in the Union Building, Room 270, deanofstudents@utah.edu, 801-581-7066.

The University Counseling Center is available to provide support to students and/or groups who have been adversely affected by this incident at 801-581-6826.

Affected faculty and staff can access mental health support via the Employment Assistance Program.

Update


October 28, 2020

As was communicated in September, we learned that a Black Lives Matter sign inside the School of Medicine was repeatedly defaced beginning in August. The situation was reported to the University of Utah Police Department, who investigated the incidents thoroughly. Through its investigation, the University Police Department was able to identify the individual likely responsible for the defacement and vandalism.

The identified individual is no longer employed by the University. At this time, we have no reason to believe that there is any safety risk to our students, staff, or faculty related to this incident.

Although we believe this situation has been addressed in a way that should prevent future reoccurrence, if you come across an item that is defaced, note the location and notify a campus official. If you have questions about the university’s posting policy or are interested in learning more about the variety of resources the U offers to support diversity and inclusion, please visit the Office of the Dean of Students in the Union Building, Room 270, deanofstudents@utah.edu, 801-581-7066.

Questions & Concerns

For any questions or concerns in regard to this bias incident, please contact Brian Jay Nicholls, Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer, at RBIresponse@utah.edu.

For additional reporting information, please feel free to visit here.

Response process
Support Resources

If you are currently in a situation where immediate medical, police or other emergency services are needed, call 911 or University Emergency Communications at 801-585-2677 (801-585-COPS). To file a complaint regarding discrimination or sexual harassment, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA) at 801-581-8365.

Support & resources
Report a Bias Incident

Any act of intolerance, motivated wholly or in part by bias or prejudice against an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, age, religion, size, disability, national origin, language, gender, veteran status, identity expression, sexual orientation or age—regardless of severity—can be reported using this form.

Submit a report