Dec. 11, 2017

In the past week, two incidents have occurred on campus that involved the writing of discriminatory language on dorm room doors located in Pierce and White Halls. The following message was sent to Buena Vista University students, faculty, and staff on behalf of BVU President, Joshua D. Merchant, and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Dale Scully. It was sent on Monday, Dec. 11.
 
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.
 
This type of action is considered hate speech and is potentially punishable under the law. BVU immediately initiated the process to investigate and punish responsible parties to the fullest extent of the law and has been in contact with the Storm Lake Police Department. We will bring all resources to bear in doing so.

  • 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 712.749.2500 or e-mailing security@bvu.edu. If you have seen anything that could aid the investigation, we encourage you to step forward.
  • Students who were impacted negatively by these unacceptable actions and who would like to attempt to begin to work through the personal impact can attend an open session in Hansen 8 at 5 p.m. today. No one should feel like their race or any aspect of their identity makes them a target. A counselor will be present.
  • All residents of Pierce and White residence halls are expected to attend a mandatory meeting in Anderson Auditorium at 9 p.m. tonight. No exceptions will be made. While it would have been best to conduct this meeting as soon as possible, it was scheduled for tonight out of respect and consideration of prescheduled final exams.

Campus Security and RAs will monitor the hallways with increased frequency. We take the physical and emotional safety of our students very seriously. If you see something, please say something. BVU stands firmly in support of the students who were impacted and it is our sincere hope that you will do so as well.


Members of the faculty have drafted the following proclamation so their colleagues and other members of the BVU community could personally add to the chorus of voices that embody the values, appreciation of and respect for all members of our community.

Proclamation

We, the undersigned members of Buena Vista University, resolve and affirm our dedication to the principles and protection of free and open intellectual inquiry and expression. Civil discourse and an intimidation-free atmosphere are important to maintaining peaceful and respectful learning spaces. This commitment is in keeping with Buena Vista University’s vision: to prepare “globally-engaged and ethical citizens who contribute to the economic, intellectual and cultural development of our world.”

Buena Vista University as a whole opposes racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, and any overt or implied threats to the founding principles of the United States Constitution. This stance underscores one of Buena Vista University’s values, to “foster an appreciation for all persons by providing an open and inclusive environment where all are treated with respect.”

Behaviors that make the learning environment intimidating, threatening, or hostile are not supportive of learning. We, the undersigned, reaffirm that it is the responsibility of each member of the campus community to maintain an environment conducive to learning that honors the dignity and worth of every individual.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Pamina Abkowitz
  • Nathan Backman
  • Colette Baker
  • Casey Baker
  • Julie Barlow
  • Dixee Bartholomew-Feis
  • Wes Beckwith
  • Greg C. Bell
  • Lisa Bengtson
  • Courtney Berg
  • Laura Bernhardt
  • Janet Berry
  • Anton Bezuglov
  • Swasti Bhattacharyya
  • Becky Blackman
  • David Boelter
  • Thomas Bonagura
  • Zoey Breese
  • Bob Brodman
  • Dana Christen
  • Jamii Claiborne
  • Rich Clinesmith
  • Kenneth Converse
  • Melinda Coogan
  • Shaley Cullen
  • Joan Curbow
  • Nasser Dastrange
  • Kristi Davis
  • Patti Demers
  • Mary Donato
  • Timothy Ehler
  • Annamaria Elsden
  • Ashley Farmer-Hanson
  • William Feis
  • Jennifer Felton
  • Mike Frantz
  • Andrea Frantz
  • Emily Gallagher
  • Brittany Garling
  • Francesca Gentile
  • Mary Gill
  • Wind Goodfriend
  • Merrin Guice
  • Leslie Haas
  • James Hampton
  • Gwen Hart
  • Gail Hartsock
  • Stephanie Hays-Angstrom
  • Jennifer Hecht
  • Ashley Heiberger
  • Roberta Hersom
  • Nila Houska
  • Kevin Hoyt, Class of 1990
  • Amy Jones
  • Crystal Jones
  • Bryan Kampbell
  • Ebony King
  • Bethany Larson
  • Tami Laursen
  • Brian Lenzmeier
  • Robbie Ludy
  • Lauri Lyman
  • Ben Maas
  • Timothy McDaniel
  • James McFadden
  • Caroline McManigal
  • Ken Meissner
  • Lisa Mellmann
  • Mary Mello-Nee
  • Theresa Melohn
  • Jessica Mendel
  • Joshua Merchant
  • Jon Millea
  • Steven Mills
  • Mandi Mollring
  • Jodie Morin
  • Jesse Nee
  • Daniel Padilla, Class of 2006
  • Brian Pattie
  • Miranda Pollock
  • Suzette Radke
  • Jill Rhea
  • Molly Ringgenberg
  • Jim Salvucci
  • Emily Sauter
  • Kenneth Schweller
  • Dale Scully
  • Mark Shea
  • Jason Shepherd
  • Kristie Spotts
  • Peter Steinfeld
  • Haley Stevens
  • Shawn Stone
  • Eric Tammes, Class of 1991
  • Tracy Thomas
  • Laura Todd
  • Leanne Valentine
  • Sue Vaudt
  • Morgan Walker
  • Michael Walker
  • David Walker
  • Jared White
  • Emily Williams
  • Teresa Wirtjers
  • Robin Wissink
  • Barb Zeigler