Last Thursday, a faculty member at Saint Xavier discovered that one of the Warde Academic Center bathrooms has become vandalized by graffiti displaying a swastika. This incident has led the university to reestablish its effort to be inclusive and welcome, particularly, given all of the protests surrounding racial injustice and systemic racism.
After a faculty member reported the graffiti, Director Jack Touhy, from Public Safety, said, “The Facilities Director contacted public safety who responded to the washroom in the Warde building S307. The graffiti was photographed, a public safety report made, and the graffiti was removed.”
While Touhy was at liberty to say that, he could not say anything about who the administration suspects might have been behind the graffiti or the consequences of the vandalism. He simply said, “[A]t this time the investigation continues into who may be responsible.”
As to whether or not public safety thinks there will be any future instances of vandalism like this, Touhy said, “[W]e certainly hope there will not be other instances, all acts of vandalism are senseless however this type is very disheartening, hate-based and not reflective of our Mercy Community.”
This comment certainly falls in line with what Dean of Student Life Katy Thompson had to say about vandalism, “As far as addressing vandalism should a student be alleged to have made this graffiti or done other types of vandalism, we would handle it through the disciplinary process. Sanctions would be based on a number of factors, so I could not say specifically what the outcome would be.”
Thompson addressed the SXU community later on in the email by saying, “In a year that has seen nationwide upheaval over issues such as race, COVID-19, and the upcoming presidential election, I wanted to take the time to remind us of our responsibility to foster respect within our campus community. We are committed to ensuring our campus environment is inclusive and respectful, and to that end, I remind you of what it means to be a part of our community.”
Continuing, she said that “Everyone deserves to feel respected. Everyone is responsible for treating members of the SXU community with dignity, civility, and respect. Everyone is expected to be courteous, engaged, attentive, and empathetic to help sustain a safe and inclusive environment for all.”
Thompson also introduced three different reports that students and faculty can fill out with various topics. These three are Bias Incident Report forms, Sexual Misconduct Report forms, and Incident Report form. Bias Incident Report forms are for any cases of discrimination, stereotyping, exclusion, or harassment that motivated prejudice based on age, gender/gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability. Sexual Misconduct Report forms are to be used in cases of sexual harassment, stalking, relationship violence, or sexual assault. The last form, the Incident Report, is used to report behavior that violates the University Code of Conduct. These violations include alcohol, drugs, obscene language, threats, property damage, vandalism, and theft.
In her closing remarks, she added, “In line with our mission, core values, and Catholic, Mercy identity, we expect all members of the University community to act toward one another with sensitivity, consideration, understanding, appreciation, tolerance and with an active concern for the welfare of others. Please consider how you can positively contribute to our inclusive learning community.”
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October 14, 2020 at 08:59PM