November 17, 2022
The incidents of hate graffiti at Gonzaga over recent weeks have been deeply troubling, and we want to recognize the emotional impact this has had on many across our campus. Our historically marginalized communities especially, who for generations have endured outright and systemic racism, are angry, hurt and worried about their safety as well as that of their loved ones. We are deeply disturbed by these incidents, and profoundly sorry for the harm cast upon our Black, Indigenous/Native American, People of Color, Jewish, and LGBTQ+ communities. We categorically denounce these abhorrent acts that are so completely counter to our Gonzaga mission and values. It is unspeakable that in this era, cowardly individuals continue to promulgate behavior so far outside the human condition.
As members of a faith-based community, we denounce such acts in the strongest possible terms. We live in a world where this evil exists, and it is our responsibility to stand against it, and any other acts of hatred, when they occur.
First and foremost, Gonzaga is here for you today, tomorrow, and whenever the emotional burden calls for care, support and recuperation. We are here when you need community, help understanding the world around you, or partnership in connecting with or creating forums dedicated to eradicating social injustice. Gonzaga provides a wealth of opportunities to meet your needs and we encourage you to visit this dedicated webpage to access these care and support resources.
Among these many resources, StudentLinc provides coping strategies, group support, anxiety management and licensed clinicians free of charge 24/7/365. The Center for Cura Personalis, Health and Counseling Services and the Office of Mission and Ministry all are staffed to administer personal support.
In addition, and specifically to address recent concerns, members of GSBA together with Campus Security and Public Safety (CSPS) have conducted a lighting assessment to ensure optimal illumination of the campus, along with a review of the 35 emergency blue light stations and the Rave Guardian app. Flyers are posted throughout campus as reminders of the University’s Safety Escort service (509-313-2222) should anyone need CSPS transport day or night, and additional security staff have been added to campus patrol.
For generations, Gonzaga has worked to educate students for lives of leadership and service for the common good. We are resolute, knowing that this work is needed now and always. To this end, we will be offering programming and training to educate our community on ways to be aware, active and involved in countering the inflammatory tactics of hate groups looking for confrontational exposure. We are blessed to have myriad programs and organizations available to help our community make a difference. Following on some important sessions held by GSBA and the Center for the Study of Hate this week, further programming will be offered next semester, and we will be communicating more about these opportunities over the academic year.
Luke’s Gospel finds Jesus reminding us that such trials have been and will continue throughout time. As Christ reminds us, “this will give you an opportunity to testify…” and “I will give you words, and a wisdom that none will be able to withstand or contradict.”
As we gather as a community to care and administer to each other, let us work together in solidarity to eliminate racism from every dimension and aspect of our University community and society.
Kent Porterfield, Ed. D.
Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Robin Kelley, Ph.D.
Chief Diversity Officer
Ellen Maccarone, Ph.D.
Acting V.P. for Mission Integration