President Smith statement on demonstration last night

Our primary efforts at last night’s game, and at all campus events, are designed to protect the safety and security of everyone involved – in this case our students, fans, employees, and the marching band members and student athletes on the playing field. Our Department of Public Safety officers and all personnel involved are to be commended for their approach and their work with our students under challenging circumstances.

We have great respect for our students engaged in the constructive efforts underway to address the issues we face, and we strongly defend and support the right of students to peacefully demonstrate about issues important to them.

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Other key points from the University about this matter:

  • The University responded promptly and vigorously to the recent incidents of racist graffiti and condemns these acts in the strongest of terms. The incidents run completely counter to our core values and the welcoming, respectful environment we expect from everyone on our campus.
  • The full resources of the University are being are directed at the investigation to identify who was responsible and to address the broader issues of racism that are behind hateful incidents such as this.
  • When the individual or individuals involved are arrested, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If they are students, they also will face expulsion from the University. The University has issued a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of those involved.
  • The University is committed to continuing to work with our students and take action to ensure the issues of racism and inclusion are addressed comprehensively in the short and long term.

September 24, 2016

Written by:
Media Relations

Media Contact:
Geoff Larcom