South Campus Trax Station Racist Intimidation


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 August 17, 2022, a faculty member (who is Black) reported that on the previous evening, August 16, 2022, he was walking toward the UTA Trax South Campus station, near the Turpin Building, when a white male with what seemed to be a small food delivery paper bag walked toward him and asked if he knew where the Receiving Building was because he had to make a delivery. The faculty member pointed to the Receiving Building and walked away toward the Trax station. The man walked toward the indicated building and when he found it was locked, he screamed at the faculty member from a distance, calling him a “lying n*****” and yelling “I will kick your a**” for about 2 minutes until the faculty member’s train arrived. The faculty member was afraid that the individual was going to run and come after him on the Trax platform, but he luckily did not. The faculty member was able to return home safely and made a report to RBIRT the following day, and to University Police the next week. Because of the threats of violence and intimidation coupled with racial slurs, this act is considered a hate crime for Clery statistical purposes.

What is being done

The incident was reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA), the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team and to University Police, which has opened an investigation. The faculty member did not wish to press charges if the individual was identified but requested that University Police increase patrols and presence in the area, which they’ve done.

If you have any information related to this incident (or others) that may help, please report by filling out the form at the Office of the Dean of Students website. Or you can report to University of Utah Police by calling 801-585-2677 or filling out the Silent Witness form.

Although it is unknown if the delivery person is a member of our community, if, through the course of some review or investigation (by University Police, or other appropriate investigative body), the individual(s) responsible is identified as part of the U community, the Office of the Dean of Students (if confirmed to be a student), Human Resources (if confirmed to be an employee), or other appropriate leader, will act within university policy designed to hold the individual(s) accountable and, if appropriate, provide additional 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 threatening or concerning behavior, note the location and notify a campus official. 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.  

Stopping this type of behavior takes collective action, and bystander intervention efforts are one way of combatting conduct that can wrongfully be seen as a prank or joke but can cause 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.

The U condemns hate and is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion

This act, specifically targeted against a faculty member of our Black community, in a public space, is rooted in the hateful act of striking fear among our community members. These targeted acts leave our Black students, staff and faculty feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, angry, and continuously on edge. While we work to ensure that they can find a place of safety and belonging as a part of our campus community, we know that is not enough. 

We will continue to name the racist acts, investigate, and hold the perpetrators of these hateful acts accountable when they are identified. We cannot tolerate what is intolerable.  Additionally, we will continue to proactively implement efforts that uplift and celebrate our communities as we witness an increasing number of racist acts on our campus and across the nation. This is the time to draw together and call out these acts when we see them.  

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