UPDATE on BSU Zoom Hate Attack

To: Gonzaga Students and Families, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni
From: Dr. Raymond Reyes, Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer
Dr. Kent Porterfield, Vice Provost-Student Affairs
RE: UPDATE on BSU Zoom Hate Attack
Date: November 25, 2020

Gonzaga University remains committed, as a top priority, to the ongoing investigation into the Sunday, November 8, Zoom hate attack on the Black Student Union, report its outcomes, and take all appropriate resulting actions.

We offer the following brief updates and encourage you to visit the BSU Incident Response page that has been created to share details and information on an ongoing basis:

  • Investigation: The investigation by the Spokane Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to research the origin of the attack in order to identify the individuals responsible. GU’s Information Technology Services department along with Campus Security and Public Safety are supporting the investigation as requested. It is vitally important that the analysis continue unimpeded, so that all legal remedies available to us may be pursued as the responsible parties are identified. The perpetrators of the attack have not been determined at this time.
  • Response Team and Safety Measures: Drs. Reyes and Porterfield, along with colleagues Dr. Robin Kelley and Joan Iva Fawcett, are coordinating the University’s response. Campus Security and Public Safety, Student Affairs, Information Technology Services, and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have worked together on safety measures including notifications for Zoom security and related technology protections, and increased support services.
  • Town Hall: A virtual Town Hall meeting addressing this incident as well as broader issues of race, diversity and inclusion on campus will take place on the evening of December 7, 2020 from 5:30-7 p.m. PST. Panel participants, moderator, registration information and other details will be shared soon.
  • Counseling Services: Gonzaga is contracting with a counselor of color specifically to support the members of Gonzaga’s BSU in processing the trauma of the Zoom hate attack. The University has also agreed to contract with a second therapist of color to address individual student counseling needs until the hiring process for a full-time therapist, based in Health & Counseling Services, can be completed. This full-time therapist will have expertise in supporting the counseling needs of students of color.

We are grateful to the Faculty Senate for the letter addressed to the Faculty Assembly last week, and to faculty members who signed the letter published online by the Gonzaga Bulletin Nov. 19. We are acting upon your requests, in collaboration with The Center for Teaching and Advising, and appreciate your solidarity with Gonzaga students. We recognize the investment you are committing toward creating more inclusive environments, free from racism, in the classroom and our community.

We are committed to taking continued action in response to the attack on, and demands of, the Black Student Union, and keeping all Gonzaga students safe and healthy. Please know the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is available at (509) 313-5873 if you have further information to share, or a need for additional support. Thank you.