Posted on September 13, 2019

Racist Word on University of St. Thomas Dorm Window Prompts Campus Talks

Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, September 12, 2019

A racist word was traced in dust on a University of St. Thomas residence hall bathroom window and has prompted school leadership to schedule a series of discussions and gatherings this week.

Students reported finding the word in Ireland Hall, according to a university e-mail sent Thursday to faculty, staff and students signed by St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan and Kha Yang, the university’s new associate vice president for inclusive excellence.

University administration said later Thursday that the slur targeted blacks.


The word was on the inside of a window in a communal bathroom that is used by residents in many rooms on the floor. It was not visible from outside the all-male dorm, which houses mostly freshmen.

“We all play a part in helping to build an inclusive culture at St. Thomas,” the e-mail said. “Conduct like this demeans the entire campus community and will not be tolerated. We will continue to aggressively investigate and take strong disciplinary action against individuals who are found to be involved.”

In the meantime, the first of numerous gatherings was held earlier Thursday in the wake of what the e-mail called an incident that “is painful for our community.”