Sadly, a homophobic slur was found written on a poster on a faculty member’s office in the Summit Classroom building on Tuesday evening, April 17. The University of St. Thomas Hate Crimes and Bias-Motivated Incidents Policy outlines the community expectation for all faculty, staff and students to practice civility and respect in all interactions. Any use of slurs, whether homophobic or racial, in print or in person, has no place on our campus. Our Statement on Offensive Behavior makes this point clear.

Dr. Jane Canney

“The University of St. Thomas is a Catholic institution of higher learning. As such, it is dedicated to the proposition that hatred has no place in a community based on principles of Christian love for our fellow human beings. Harassment of an individual or group of individuals based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, creed, religion, socio-economic status, physical or mental disability is an attack on the very fabric of the institution itself.”

Dr. Susan Huber

It is ironic that this dreadful act took place just days before the Breaking the Silence event, in which the community came together to denounce acts of intolerance against those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered. Father Erich Rutten, director of campus ministry, was quoted in TommieMedia about the event as saying, “I think as a church we feel very strongly that violence and hatred don’t belong anywhere. They are not a part of our tradition.”

The University of St. Thomas condemns acts of intolerance in any form. This incident is being investigated by our Public Safety Department. We have a Silent Witness Program and Tip Line we hope community members will use if they have any information to share about this incident. Please call 96(2-TIPS) or email pstips@stthomas.edu with any information.

We ask you to join us in this call for civility, respect and care for one another. If you see or hear hateful language, please intervene and report the behavior. As a community, we aim to ensure these acts do not occur again.