The Tack Online

President holds mandatory meeting after a second racial incident occurs

This+image+of+the+racist+language+written+on+the+door+of+a+Pierce+White+dorm+room+on+Sunday+night+circulated+on+social+media+Monday.+
This image of the racist language written on the door of a Pierce White dorm room on Sunday night circulated on social media Monday.

This image of the racist language written on the door of a Pierce White dorm room on Sunday night circulated on social media Monday.

This image of the racist language written on the door of a Pierce White dorm room on Sunday night circulated on social media Monday.

Kylee Deering, News Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Thursday night’s racial incident in the Pierce White residence hall at Buena Vista University (BVU) was followed by another incident on Sunday night, Dec. 10, the night before finals week commenced. Another campus-wide email from President Joshua Merchant and Vice President and Dean of Students Dale Scully was issued on Monday afternoon, Dec. 11, stating in part, “Last Friday, the BVU campus community was made aware of an incident that occurred in Pierce and White residence halls regarding the writing of discriminatory, racist language and symbols on three dorm doors. Last night this same type of incident occurred again. This behavior is heinous and will not be tolerated. Three African-American students, two Caucasian students and one Hispanic student have been targeted.”  

The email also stated that this type of action could be considered hate speech and is potentially punishable by law. Scully and Merchant wrote that BVU is investigating and will punish responsible parties to the fullest extent of the law and that the University has been in contact with the Storm Lake Police Department.  

The message also announced two campus meetings. The first was held on Monday at 5 p.m. and was focused on “students who were impacted negatively by these unacceptable actions and who would like to attempt to begin to work through the personal impact.” A counselor was present at that open session. 

The second meeting, a mandatory one for all residents of Pierce and White Halls, the dorms where the incidents have occurred, was held Monday night at 9 p.m. in Anderson Auditorium. At that event, Merchant and Scully spoke to students. Scully opened the discussion.  

“What has occurred in Pierce White Hall this past week is unacceptable, and I personally could not be more disappointed in those who are responsible,” Scully said in his opening remarks.  

He went on to say, “As a community, I believe in my heart of hearts that we are better than this. Hateful acts like this tend to divide us, and we can’t let that happen. Instead, it would be better to allow it to create unity and support for our community members.”  

Merchant spoke next, expressing his disappointment in the situation and his many emotions about it.  

“I am repulsed by the activity. I am disappointed. I am angry. I am sad. These are deplorable acts that, quite frankly, we as a campus community are not going to tolerate,” he said. “And I am not going to tolerate it. I am not going to sit passively by and just make light of the situation that this was an act of stupidity. That this was an act of just being funny, it’s not funny. It’s a hate crime.”  

“I am repulsed by the activity. I am disappointed. I am angry. I am sad. These are deplorable acts that, quite frankly, we as a campus community are not going to tolerate.”

— BVU President Joshua Merchant

During the meeting, Merchant explained that both students and parents have been reaching out to him to share their concerns about the incidents. He said that he is listening and responding when he has answers he is able to share with them. The incidents he says are “open attacks on tolerance and acceptance and everything we stand for at Buena Vista University.”  

Merchant asked the students in the auditorium to not be tolerant of this kind of behavior either and not to sit by idly. He encouraged them to speak up if anybody knew anything about the incidents in order to show support for those targeted.  

“Your silence amplifies their isolation, and it condones the act of hate,” Merchant said.  

He went on to tell those in attendance that victims of hate crimes need a strong message that they are valued through small acts of kindness, as they often feel alone and afraid. Merchant stressed small acts of kindness and how those things make a difference.  

“No one should feel like their race or any aspect of their identity makes them a target,” Merchant and Scully wrote in the email sent to campus.  

BVU’s next steps are to investigate the incidents and hold responsible parties involved accountable. In the email to campus, Merchant and Scully announced that a $500 reward will be provided to any individual who comes forward to identify responsible parties, if the information leads to a conviction. Information can be shared anonymously by calling Campus Security at x2500 or emailing [email protected] 

Merchant said more information will be provided as BVU knows more.   

1 Comment

One Response to “President holds mandatory meeting after a second racial incident occurs”

  1. Horace Miller on December 12th, 2017 7:07 pm

    Doesn’t matter what letters and emails are written EVERYBODY has a camera phone and some or most already know who the culprits are. These people don’t have the balls to say it to your face and show their faces, but they will hide behind whatever rock they crawled from under and cause problems. If they are really proud of what was written come on out and let the world know who you are!!!

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • President holds mandatory meeting after a second racial incident occurs

    News

    Student Activities Board puts on First Ever Free Money Game Show

  • President holds mandatory meeting after a second racial incident occurs

    News

    Maldonado Proposes a Water Fountain to be Installed in the Suites

  • President holds mandatory meeting after a second racial incident occurs

    News

    BVU Student-Athletes Push for Mental Health Literacy on Campus

  • President holds mandatory meeting after a second racial incident occurs

    News

    Student Senate Proposal for Reinforcement of Chapel Policy Makes Way to President’s Council

  • President holds mandatory meeting after a second racial incident occurs

    News

    BVU Students Can Benefit from Free Passport Program 

  • President holds mandatory meeting after a second racial incident occurs

    News

    VP of Enrollment Management Mike Frantz Resigns from BVU

  • President holds mandatory meeting after a second racial incident occurs

    News

    Dr. Wind Goodfriend Uses Own Book for First Time

  • President holds mandatory meeting after a second racial incident occurs

    News

    BVU Cuts Global Fellows Program

  • President holds mandatory meeting after a second racial incident occurs

    News

    Director of Campus Security Leaves BVU; Garling Steps In

  • President holds mandatory meeting after a second racial incident occurs

    News

    Communities Rally Behind BVU Student-Athlete Canyon “Moose” Hopkins as he Battles Rare Form of Cancer

The Student News Site of Buena Vista University
President holds mandatory meeting after a second racial incident occurs