Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

We hope that each and every one of you continues to support each other within our Bulldog community. Yesterday, someone slipped a handwritten note containing a racist threat under the door of a student’s residence hall room. The recipient of the note wishes to remain anonymous and has chosen to not to file a police report at this time. Drake Public Safety is investigating, and the Dean of Students Office is providing the student with support services.

We pride ourselves on being a close community that supports each other. This is an opportunity to live up to that. If anyone has any information that will help us discover who did this, please contact Dean of Students, Jerry Parker, at or 515-271-4088.

This conduct is an affront to our institutional values, it is an attack on the personal dignity and well-being of the student targeted, and it is in violation of our Student Code of Conduct. I am writing on behalf of senior leadership to make clear that we will not tolerate hateful acts such as this on our campus. That commitment is clearly stated in our Statement of Principles: “We abhor acts of oppression, be they denial of freedom of expression, discrimination in its various forms of sexism or racism, or intolerance of religion, age, sexual orientation, or political beliefs; or harassment of any member of the university community.”

Unfortunately, this most recent incident isn’t the only troubling behavior that has happened on campus this semester. There have been other incidents recently, and each one erodes our sense of community, and our trust in one another.

We must all strive to work towards our commitment to equity and inclusion, including: “Teaching all faculty, staff, and students to recognize discrimination and oppression, as well as giving each individual tools to address and prevent it.” We all need to engage in discussion about how to prevent hate on our campus, including bringing it up amongst our classmates and colleagues, educating ourselves about hate, speaking out when we see something that does not uphold our commitment to equity and inclusion. We can all make a difference.

To provide support and solidarity, the student equity action partners will be tabling in Olmsted next week, and we will be holding a rally in Helmick Commons on Wednesday, November 14th at noon. I encourage you to support these efforts and to become a vocal, visible advocate for equity and inclusion.


Erin Lain, J.D., Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Campus Equity and Inclusion
Associate Professor of Law
Drake University