Residence Hall Laundry Facility Racist Slur


Current Status:
Monitoring

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

On Sunday, August 28, a resident reported to the front desk of their residence hall that they heard another resident in the laundry room making racist and sexual comments. Specifically, the resident was saying sexual things to female residents and then also randomly saying the “N-word” loudly, though not directed at any particular individual.

Although the racist slur was not directed to any individual, this behavior was unacceptable, disruptive, and harmful to our community.

What is being done

The incident was reported to the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA), the Housing and Residential Education and Office of the Dean of Students Conduct teams, as well as the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team.

Because in this case, the responsible individual has been identified, if, through the course of some review or investigation (by the OEO/AA or other appropriate investigative body), the individual is confirmed to have engaged in conduct violating university policy, the Office of the Dean of Students and/or Housing and Residential Education or other appropriate leader, will act within university policy designed to hold the individual(s) accountable and, if appropriate, provide education about the harm caused to the community by this type of behavior.

What to do

Be vigilant and speak up. If you see someone engaging in offensive disruptive behavior in common areas or other shared spaces on campus, and if you feel safe doing so, intervene, or report it to a nearby official.

Stopping this type of behavior takes collective action, and bystander intervention efforts are one way of combatting such conduct that causes real harm. To learn more about how to incorporate bystander intervention into your toolkit, check out the information here: https://wellness.utah.edu/workshops-training/#bystander. If you 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, or the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Park Building, Room 208, or https://diversity.utah.edu/our-team/. To make a report of a racist or bias incident, visit the public reporting form.

The U is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion

Acts like this cause harm to students’ and other community members’ sense of belonging in a time when we are returning to a place of in-person connectedness, and some are feeling especially vulnerable. We are still striving to ensure that all our staff, students, trainees, faculty and other community members are able to find a place of safety and belonging as a part of our campus community, and have the space to explore, express and celebrate their various identities. 

We will continue to name the racist and biased acts, investigate, and hold the perpetrators of these hateful acts accountable when they are identified. Additionally, we will continue efforts that uplift and celebrate our communities and enhance a sense of belonging on our campus.

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