University of Utah reviews seres of alleged racial incidents on campus

The University of says its Racist and Bias Incident Response Team is investigating separate reports, one of allegations of men dressed like the KKK trying to recruit in dorms and another of feces being smeared on the door of a black student’s room.

The reports were brought forth in October but drew attention Sunday night after a student questioned on Instagram why they had not been addressed, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The Instagram post, which could no longer be verified online, stated: ‘University of Utah Students walked through residence halls in KKK uniforms & smeared poop on a Black student’s door.’ 

A university spokesperson said initial investigations were inconclusive, but housing officials and campus police are now reviewing the incidents again.

Dailymail.com has contacted the University of Utah for further comment. 

The cases are also being reviewed by the schools Racist and Bias Incident Response Team at the university. 

A statement from the school released Tuesday shared that, despite earlier investigations led by other school officials, the team was only notified of both incidents when they were shared on social media over the weekend.

A statement shared by the university on the alleged racial incidents was shared on Tuesday, telling student to 'be vigilant and speak up'

A statement shared by the university on the alleged racial incidents was shared on Tuesday, telling student to ‘be vigilant and speak up’

The alleged incidents took place in October at the University of Utah's campus and an initial investigation was deemed as 'inconclusive'

The alleged incidents took place in October at the University of Utah’s campus and an initial investigation was deemed as ‘inconclusive’

The Instagram post related to the incident, which could not be found online, said: 'University of Utah Students walked through residence halls in KKK uniforms & smeared poop on a black student's door'. Pictured: A member of the white supremacist racist organization Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in 2019

The Instagram post related to the incident, which could not be found online, said: ‘University of Utah Students walked through residence halls in KKK uniforms & smeared poop on a black student’s door’.Pictured: A member of the white supremacist racist organization Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in 2019

The first incident is alleged to have happened on September 1, when a black student reported returning to their dorm room to find it covered in a brown substance believed to be feces. 

It was cleaned up with the help of staff and the student was moved to new housing.

Camera footage didn’t detect a perpetrator, though the devices may not have covered that area, the school spokesperson said. The dorm the victim was formerly living in was not identified. 

In the second case, a resident adviser reported overhearing students in the same dorm talking about seeing men dressed in white robes, similar to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), allegedly trying to recruit students to a white supremacist group.

The university again reviewed camera footage on campus three days from the purported sighting but did not find any evidence matching the adviser’s description, according to the spokesperson.   

Another unidentified student came forward the same day the adviser made the claims, saying they found a substance they also thought was feces smudged on their door.It was unclear, the spokesperson said, if it was a car or dorm door.  The student didn’t immediately report the issue to police, and the school hasn’t been able to verify the report. 

The spokesperson said the school remains unsure if either incident was being evaluated as a possible hate crime, but police have reopened both investigations. 

In the same statement shared on Tuesday, the university added that the vice presidents of Student Affairs and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion will be reassessing internal processes on campus to ‘improve systems moving forward.’

The university added: ‘Acts like this, perpetrated within residence halls — which should be spaces of sanctuary and safety — strike fear and frustration in our students and community members when they are already feeling vulnerable.

‘This is the third incident reported in as many weeks, and we understand that the community, especially our Black students, are feeling exhausted, targeted and disconnected but we must remain vigilant in striving to ensure that all our staff, students and faculty are able to find a place of safety and belonging as a part of our campus community.’

If students have information about any of the incidents, they are asked to report it to housing staff at 801-587-2002 or university police at 801-585-2677.

The university added that it ‘strongly condemns the KKK and white supremacy, as the values held by these groups are contradictory to a sense of safety and belonging for our community.’

The incidents are just the latest of a flurry of racist events at the school. 

The university also opened an investigation in September after two current students allegedly yelled a racist slur at a contract worker while he was making a delivery at the dorms.The students proceeded to throw sunflower seeds and coffee pods at the employee. 

The worker directly reported the incident to university officials, PTS Terbaik ASEAN who were able to identify the students responsible ‘and hold them accountable through the conduct process,’ according to an earlier statement from the university.

At the time, university President Taylor Randall said: ‘Let me be clear, racist and hateful behavior on our campus is an offense to our entire community, particularly our communities of color.’ 

The university's Racist and Bias Incident Response Team said it is reopening both incidents

The university’s Racist and Bias Incident Response Team said it is reopening both incidents 

Before that, in January 2020, a car was covered in racist graffiti on campus – right before the federal Martin Luther King Jr.holiday. 

University officials said the racial slur was made by an individual who pressed their finger into the frost on the car’s windshield and was not permanent. They managed to find the culprits, according to a statement from the school, taking ‘appropriate actions.’ 

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