Campus police identified the individual responsible for an incident reported Wednesday in which racially insensitive writing was found on the back of a whiteboard at Salt Lake Community College’s South City Campus.
The writing was situated in the hallway outside the campus’s Student Writing and Reading Center. Peter Moosman, who runs the Gender and Sexuality Student Resource Center across the hall from the SWRC, reported the incident.
“I had just plopped myself down on the table outside the [SWRC] door when I noticed the board outside their door had ‘KKK’ written on it,” Moosman said. “So, I grabbed the board, ran into the SWRC and contacted the powers that be.”
Moosman reported the incident to SLCC’s chief diversity officer and the Utah Highway Patrol, who serve as South City’s campus police, and said he was impressed by the quick response.
“I don’t know if I have ever seen them work so quickly,” Moosman said. “I contacted them. They arrived within minutes and found the perpetrator within 24 hours.”
Terry Buck, lieutenant of the South City Campus police, confirmed they identified the person responsible but could not disclose more details. Buck added the individual would not face criminal charges.
“First and foremost, this is not appropriate in any shape, fashion or form on this campus,” Buck said. “We are still working on it, but unless I find out something different, I do not believe there will be any criminal charges brought against this individual.”
Following an interview with the individual in question, Buck said he believes the incident was a “stupid, thoughtless decision” prompted by a peer group who thought the writing would be funny. Buck cautioned speculators not to jump to conclusions.
“I’d say this incident was due to peer pressure,” Buck said. “I would be hard-pressed to believe there was any kind of intent behind the incident. Simply put, it was an unbelievably bad and stupid decision.”
Buck emphasized the importance of reporting incidents of hatred and intolerance to campus police and said it is an issue they are taking seriously.
“I want the students in the community to understand: We are here to create and maintain an environment in which all students feel safe,” Buck said. “We will not simply let these things go; we will pursue them with every tool at our disposal.”
The incident coincided on the same day that SLCC President Deneece G. Huftalin sent out an email to staff and faculty members expressing solidarity with 17 historically Black colleges that received bomb threats in recent days.
It remains unclear whether the school intends to take disciplinary action against the person responsible for the incident.