Hate Crime at Residence Hall

Current Status:

Although this situation may not be ongoing actively, the Racist & Bias Incident Response Team is working with appropriate departments to monitor and 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.

What happened

A university contractor was making a delivery to the loading dock at a residence hall on campus in late September 2021 when two students in a room above the dock shouted the N-word and threw sunflower seeds and coffee pods out the window at the individual below.

What is being done

The incident was immediately reported to university officials, who were able to identify the individuals responsible and hold them accountable through the conduct process. The victim was connected with university resources and reported the incident to University Police in November. Police are currently investigating the incident as a hate crime (intimidation motivated by bias).

U leadership response

President Taylor Randall: “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.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Lori McDonald: “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.” 

What to do 

Be vigilant and speak up. If you see someone committing a racist or biased act or are on the receiving end, please note the details you can, including time, date, and any other relevant information and report to University Police, the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team, or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. This information may help the university identify those engaging in this behavior so appropriate follow-up action may be taken.

If you are interested in learning more about the variety of resources the U offers to support diversity inclusion and belonging, please visit Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion in the Park Building, Room 208, or at diversity.utah.edu, or the Office of the Dean of Students in the Union Building, Room 270, deanofstudents@utah.edu, 801-581-7066. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors who believe they have been the target of bias, intolerance, or discrimination may report an incident through the public reporting form (bias and intolerance) or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (sexual misconduct and discrimination).

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