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Letter to the SDSU community

The following letter was published October 3, 2012 in The Collegian: South Dakota State University's student-run independent newspaper.

Oct. 2, 2012

Dear Members of the South Dakota State University community,

Notification was made last Friday of graffiti that constitutes racial harassment and intimidation written in a residence hall. The University Police Department is investigating. The message carried in the graffiti is a violation of state law, university policy and our social norms.

We speak for the university, its faculty, its staff and its students: Harassment, intimidation and intolerance have no place within our university or within our society.

We remain firmly committed to the principle that all individuals are equal, to the affirmation and appreciation of all protected classes, including racial, ethnic, religious or sexual identities, and to the belief that all of its members are part of a larger community. We embrace differences of thought, action and culture, and we expect a welcoming environment at South Dakota State.

As part of ongoing efforts, student leaders, in consultation with others, are engaged in developing initiatives to address issues of intolerance. While these initiatives will serve as means to educate and create awareness that hatred and bigotry continue to exist in our society, they also will move us towards becoming the more inclusive community we envision. These efforts will take various forms, and we encourage members of the university community to lend their support.

The University Police Department — with support from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community, the Division of Student Affairs, the American Indian Education and Cultural Center and other administrative offices — continues to investigate the matter. Anyone with information should contact UPD at (605) 688-5117.


David L. Chicoine, Ph.D.

Marysz Rames, Ed.D.
Vice President, Student Affairs

Michael Keller, Ph.D.
President, Faculty Senate

Jameson Berreth
President, Students’ Association