Investigation of Flyers in Residence Halls, Relevant Policy Reminders
Dec. 5, 2016
The University continues to investigate the incident of Nov. 30 when more than 100 flyers – some with racist and homophobic messages on them – were strewn around the door of a student in a residence hall. See this previous statement for details on the incident. The University believes that the flyers found in the dormitory were created by a small group of students. The flyers contained personalized and bullying messages consistent with the Clery Act’s definition of a hate crime.
Such hate speech has no place at Webster, as members of the community agree and as the president and provost have previously discussed in communications with the worldwide community.
The University has procedures in place for student conduct issues, which includes student conduct hearings and Title IX investigations. The Family Educational Records and Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents the University from revealing information that could identify any of the students involved, therefore the University will not be issuing any statements on the outcome of any formal reports, investigations or hearings. For more information on the student code of conduct and how the judicial affairs process works, see www.webster.edu/student-handbook/conduct.html.
Since news of the flyers was made public, employees have reported seeing chalking around campus that has made reference to the incident. As a reminder, the University has a policy on flyers and chalking, including guidelines on where chalking is allowed. That policy can be found online at www.webster.edu/student-handbook/solicitation.html.
The University has learned that two separate protests have been planned for this week. The University understands the needs of members of the community to speak out against the incident and supports the right to protest, as long as it is done in a safe and legal manner. The University’s policy on rallies and demonstrations can be found online at www.webster.edu/student-handbook/rallies.html.
Following the discovery of the flyers, Student Affairs organized several meetings for on-campus residents to reiterate the University’s commitment to inclusive excellence and diversity. More meetings will be scheduled for all students in the coming weeks, including reaching out to commuter students.
Other resources available for students regarding this incident include:
- The MCISA has been hosting weekly conversations for student dialogue on Wednesdays in the Global Exchange space: https://www.facebook.com/wumcisa/
- The Counseling and Life Development department has licensed counselors on hand who are able to assist students in discussing this issue or anything else that might be interfering with their ability to be successful: http://www.webster.edu/student-counseling
- Students with a specific incident in mind are encouraged to submit the information using an online Bias Incident Reporting Form where members of the community can report incidents of bias: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?WebsterUniv&layout_id=31.
tags: diversity and inclusion,