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University of Utah investigates reports of KKK group in dormitories, droppings strewn on black student’s door


The incidents drew further criticism after a student asked on social media why they had not been approached.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The University of Utah is pictured Wednesday, March 11, 2020. The Salt Lake City school is investigating reports of a KKK group on campus, as well as a debriefing of excrement spread out on a black student door.

University of Utah investigating a report that a group of men entered a dormitory dressed like the KKK, in hooded white robes, in early October.

And the school is investigating a second incident a month earlier, when a black student reported that a substance that appeared to be feces was smeared on the door of a dormitory in the same building.

The two incidents gained attention Sunday night after a student at the Salt Lake City school posted about them on Instagram, wondering why they had not been approached. Now, a U.S. spokesperson has said residential housing officials and campus police are re-examining the incidents, after initial investigations were inconclusive.

Cases are also reviewed by the Racist and Partial Incident Response Team at U., which is expected to issue a statement on its findings this week. After initially saying that the team’s review did not begin until after the student was posted, a U.S. spokesperson later said on Monday that it was not clear whether the team had been informed of the reports earlier.

In the first incident, which happened on September 1, a black student said he returned to his dorm to find him covered in a brown substance, with a paper towel resting on the handle, according to the US spokesperson. . The student believed it was feces and cleaned it up with help from the staff before reporting to his Resident Advisor, or RA.

The United States Housing Bureau reviewed the footage throughout the day and saw no one approaching or at the door. The school spokesperson, however, said the cameras may not have covered the specific area. They did not publicly identify which dormitory the student lived in.

The student was immediately transferred to new accommodation.

In the second case, which allegedly occurred on October 1, an RA reported hearing students in the students’ original dormitory talk about seeing men dressed in KKK clothes trying to recruit students into a supremacist group. White. READ. again scanned three days of video but found nothing matching that description, the spokesperson said. She then clarified that the report noted that the men in white robes were inside the dormitory.

After this RA report, another student’s report from the same day was added to this record. The student said he found a substance he also believed to be feces smeared on his door. The spokesperson initially thought it could be a car door, but later said he was not sure. The student did not immediately contact the police and the school was unable to corroborate this report.

The spokesperson said he was not sure either of these incidents was considered a possible hate crime, but police are re-examining both.

The incidents are the latest to occur in the United States. The school also opened a case in September after two students allegedly shouted racist slurs at a contract worker as he made a delivery to a dormitory loading dock. The students then apparently threw sunflower seeds and coffee pods at the worker.

The worker immediately reported the interaction to university officials, who were able to identify responsible students “and hold them accountable throughout the conduct process,” according to an earlier statement from the U.

At the time, US President Taylor Randall said, “Let me be clear, racist and hateful behavior on our campus is an offense to our entire community, especially our communities of color.”

Prior to that, in January 2020, a car was marked with the N word on campus – shortly before the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations.

University officials say the racist-tagged insult was made by someone pressing their finger in the frost on the car’s windshield and was not permanent. They identified several people involved, according to a school statement, and took “appropriate action.”

The school – along with others in Utah – recently had problems with white supremacist groups coming to campus, hanging up posters and stickers and trying to recruit new members. It culminated in February 2019 when Identity Evropa, which is named as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, climbed the hill to the concrete block U above the university and put up a banner. who declared: “End immigration!” “


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Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion