Updates on 2/6/23 Racist Incident
Letter from Interim President Donna Carroll, 2/22/23
Dear Colleagues and Students:
It has been two weeks since my initial email about the racist incident in Rall Hall. Campus Safety and the Naperville Police are actively investigating; but feelings are still raw and social media is stirring campus frustrations, so I write with an update — and a request.
Let me be clear, we should have no tolerance for a hateful act like the one that North Central College experienced on February 6th. It was cowardly and disruptive. Is it symptomatic of a larger racist culture on campus? That is a very serious question that we cannot be afraid to ask; but it is not a question that can be answered in response to a particular incident or on Instagram.
What I can answer are your questions about where and how the College is responding.
- As I mentioned above, the investigation is ongoing with Campus Safety coordinating with the local police and updating appropriate parties.
- At the same time, we are investigating the possibility of installing cameras inside residence halls, taking into account privacy issues.
- The Office of Student Affairs, working with external advisors, is reviewing the College’s bias incident reporting processes and student conduct policy to ensure best practices.
- Student Affairs staff is also meeting with student organizations to discuss the campus climate in the aftermath of the February 6th incident and strategies for change.
- I have started meeting with key DEI leadership to drill down into the bigger questions about race and culture.
- Finally, we are trying to keep the campus community informed; Student Affairs and Campus Safety staff will attend the February 28th Faculty Meeting.
There is no quick fix for systemic racism — on campus, in our city or around our country. But, as a Cardinal community, what we can do is be clear about expectations of tolerance, respect and welcome, and strengthen our resolve to be better. Our United Methodist tradition directs us to “do no harm.” Let’s start there.
A racist act is a violation of campus trust. It not only wounds the victim; it also wounds the community. Your anger and frustration are justified. Our challenge is to mobilize that anger constructively to build a stronger North Central. That is my request.
Donna M. Carroll
North Central College
Letter from Interim President Donna Carroll, 2/9/23
Dear Colleagues and Students,
I am writing with deep sadness about a racist incident that occurred on our campus earlier this week. On Monday night, someone slid a note that said “F*** you N*****” under a Black student’s door in an on-campus residence hall. The College mobilized immediately to address the incident, but the damage to the student and our community cannot be undone. Such language is intentionally used to dehumanize members of the Black community—it is intolerable.
Our first priority has been the well-being of the victim of this hateful act. I have extended my personal apology to the student. We have honored her wishes for how best to provide support during this difficult time. I wanted to take a moment now to write to all of you about this incident and to share the steps that are being taken:
- The Department of Campus Safety is conducting an investigation and working closely with the Naperville Police Department. Campus Safety has also increased its presence in the building.
- The Office of Student Affairs and the President’s Cabinet are working closely with the College’s Bias Incident Response Team, which has made recommendations to implement in response to the incident.
- Last night, Student Affairs hosted a meeting that enabled the student to share her story with the full residence hall community. It was important for that community to be able to come together in conversation about the pain this has caused.
I am heartened by the leadership and support that has been demonstrated by our student organizations, including Voices of Praise, the Black Student Association, the Latinx Student Association, and the Student Governing Association.
North Central College is committed to making our campus safe and welcoming for all. This hateful act runs counter to our values and aspirations, especially during Black History Month, a time for celebrating the achievements and contributions of Black Americans. I am asking anyone in the campus community who has information to share it with Campus Safety, Student Affairs, or by accessing the College’s online reporting tools, which include anonymous reporting options.
Donna M. Carroll
North Central College