Update Concerning Last Week's Hate Messages

October 31, 2022

Dear Gonzaga Community,

Last Tuesday evening, President McCulloh shared that hate messages bearing the name of a white supremacist group had been spray-painted on “The Wall,” a space long-utilized by Gonzaga for sharing information and messages that bring us together as a community.

In light of this incident and unfortunately others in our community and world, it is more critical than ever for us to remain vigilant and stand together against hateful and violent speech and actions. It is also a top priority to do everything possible for our campus community to be and feel safe, and for all members to feel that they belong here.

In keeping with President McCulloh’s commitment to update the Gonzaga community on the ongoing investigation of this hate crime, please find the latest information below:

  • Campus Security and Public Safety (CSPS) is working with local law enforcement and the Joint Terrorism Task Force to increase patrols as well as monitor activity and “chatter” regarding the hate group.
  • Hate messages similar to those that appeared on our campus were found at other locations in the Spokane area including Eastern Washington University, Monroe Street Bridge, and areas under the I-90 Freeway.
  • Last Wednesday, campus security officers found a partially torn sticker representing the white supremacist group on a utility box in the Law School parking lot and learned of a poster left on the Hamilton Street Bridge east of the UW School of Medicine-Gonzaga Health Partnership building.
  • Unfortunately, we do not have camera footage that captures the defacing of “The Wall.” However, law enforcement is analyzing surveillance camera video footage of the possible perpetrators who placed a poster near the Hamilton Street Bridge.
  • At this time, no suspects have been arrested and we’ve seen no evidence to suggest the perpetrators are affiliated with Gonzaga. Law Enforcement officials believe this white supremacist group routinely and intentionally targets college campuses.

The entire campus community is invited to an event organized by the Gonzaga Student Body Association this Friday, Nov. 4, 12 p.m., at “The Wall” (Northwest of Crosby Center). This gathering will begin with a moment of reflection to find healing for those wounded by this attack and powerfully communicate that hate has no place on our campus and in our community. Students, faculty, and staff will then have an opportunity to spray paint their own positive and uplifting messages on The Wall, thereby reclaiming the space for equity, respect, and justice for all. Please check out Zagtivities and the calendar on Gonzaga.edu for several upcoming events related to uplifting marginalized communities, opposing hate, and creating belonging.

We thank CSPS for their swift action and collaboration with local and regional law enforcement. If there are further developments to this incident, we will inform the campus community. Please contact CSPS at (509) 313-2222 with any information on this incident or if you ever notice any suspicious activity or witness any hateful messages on our campus.

Let us all rally around the words of GSBA President Miguel Acosta Loza: “We will not let the hate of any, let alone, one group rob us of our sense of belonging. You are meant to be here. We are meant to be here.”

Sincerely and in unity,

Robin Kelley
Chief Divesrity Officer

Kent Porterfield
Vice Provost for Student Affairs