November 8, 2020
To the Members of the Gonzaga Community,
Earlier this afternoon – at approximately 2:30 p.m. during a meeting of the Black Student Union (BSU) taking place via Zoom – a number of anonymous individuals logged into the session using alias identities. When BSU members asked these anonymous individuals to share their names and other information, the responses from these uninvited meeting attendees included racist and homophobic slurs directed at the BSU students. These uninvited attendees also posted ugly, hateful comments on the Zoom chat function.
As can be imagined, the students who have been subjected to this hate crime were horrified and dismayed by having their meeting infiltrated by anonymous persons whose sole purpose was to traumatize our Black students. We are sickened and angered by this act of hatred against our students, and consider this act to be a violation of both our community standards and an inappropriate attack on our university community. An investigation of this incident began on Sunday afternoon, and we will exhaust every available option to identify those responsible for this heinous act. If those responsible are identified as members of our GU community, the consequences will be severe.
We are deeply frustrated by, and sorry for, the hurt and harm this incident has caused and unequivocally condemn this disgusting and dehumanizing behavior, which is absolutely contrary to our values and intolerable to us at Gonzaga University.
We can only imagine the devastating mental and emotional impact this incident has had on the members of the Black Student Union, many of whom feel victimized and vulnerable, and are subjected to incidents of racism on a regular basis. While Gonzaga is striving to do better and be better for all underrepresented students, we know that words are not enough and change does not happen fast enough. Our efforts to create and sustain a more equitable and inclusive campus community require constant vigilance and renewal of commitment. This week, we commit to meeting with BSU students to discuss what immediate support may be needed, and to continue to work on the ways in which we, as a Gonzaga Community, can more effectively address racism on campus and in our community. We invite each of you to join with us, in walking in solidarity together with our Black students, as we work to eliminate racism from every dimension and aspect of our University community and society.
Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil.
Deena J. González, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President
Kent Porterfield, Ed.D.
Vice Provost, Student Affairs
Raymond F. Reyes, Ph.D.
Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer