University of St. Thomas Cancels Classes to Address Racism

October 31, 2018 08:35 PM

The University of St. Thomas is taking action after a racist message was recently written on a student's door .

On Wednesday, the community came together for a school wide-meeting to address bigotry and hate speech.


Several students say even if this incident didn't impact them personally, they're all learning something moving forward. 

"I know he talked about how indirect racism, we don't realize how big of a problem that is. There's obviously hate crimes that we see and are obvious and everyone's like, 'No that's bad.' But there's indirect stuff that gets pushed under the rug that we need to recognize," said Kailey Beer, sophomore at the University of St. Thomas. 

Thousands of students attended Wednesday meeting.

More from KSTP:

St. Thomas Officials Investigate Report of Racist Message Left in Dorm 

St. Thomas Students, Staff to Participate in Event to Prevent Hate Speech, Racism 


The University of St. Thomas tweeted out a photo quoting University President Julie Sullivan saying , "We have something to say. We stand against racism. As president of St. Thomas I pledge to you, this is my priority." 

This comes after a racist message was left on a student's dorm room door earlier this month.

A professor from California who focuses on diversity and inclusion was brought in to speak this week to students and faculty. Through a series of three meetings, students expressed their concerns and learned about issues surrounding race. Faculty met to discuss a plan to make changes. 

Some of the short term actions include more conversations in the classroom, added trauma resources, anti-bias training and education on reporting hate crimes. 

"I think every one of my teachers has talked about it and addressed it in a very serious manner," said Ben Blake, sophomore at the University of St. Thomas. "I think that can really help develop change."

"I thought it was really good that we came together and had a conversation about it because it is a continuing problem here," said Leah Peterson, a sophomore.

Some of the long term strategies include recruiting more students and faculty of color. You can see the entire list of short-term and long-term goals here. 


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Brett Hoffland

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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