CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

University of Utah investigating reports of poop, KKK recruiting in possible racism issue on campus

Dec 21, 2021, 7:29 AM | Updated: 3:42 pm
bomb threat Black Cultural Center...
University of Utah Police and Salt Lake City Police are investigating a possible bomb threat at the University of Utah Hospital on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. Photo: Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah is investigating racism, including a report of poop smeared on a student’s door and people trying to recruit for the Ku Klux Klan.

The school’s Racism and Bias Incident Response Team says it became aware of the incidents on Dec. 19., and believes they happened in the same dorm building on campus.

The incident with the poop happened on Sept. 1, when a Black student reported having found a paper towel with a brown substance on it on the door handle to their room. Campus officials moved that student to a different dorm building; staff cleaned up the mess that same night. The school’s Housing & Residential Education group never found who possibly left the paper towel on the door.

Then a month later on Oct. 2, a resident assistant at the same dorm building reported hearing two students talking about people wearing white clothing, and trying to recruit people to the Ku Klux Klan. Housing staff reviewed the surveillance video for the area for multiple days but could not find the interaction described. 

University of Utah President Taylor Randall issued a statement to students in November addressing racism on campus. 

“Let me be clear, racist and hateful behavior on our campus is an offense to our entire community, particularly our communities of color,” he wrote. “These actions will be called out for what they are — behaviors rooted in hate and racism. I will remain steadfast and vocal in our working with our leadership team to create a safe, welcoming and equitable campus that fosters values of respect, diversity, inclusivity and belonging.”

The U says its “vice presidents of Student Affairs and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion will be thoroughly reviewing internal processes to determine what actions are needed to address these issues and improve systems moving forward.”

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University of Utah investigating reports of poop, KKK recruiting in possible racism issue on campus