LMU students allege they were victims of a racist verbal assault that occurred Saturday, Sept. 11. According to a tweet by Twitter user ebbykawaii, she was returning back to her on-campus residence with friends when “a blue Tesla filled with white men drove past and made monkey noises before calling us the n word with a hard r.”
“We can’t even be safe walking around the campus we earned the right to be on,” she continued in a series of tweets.
The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) informed students in a community update on Sept. 11 that they "met earlier this morning and reviewed reports of a bias incident that occurred late last night on LMU’s Westchester Campus.”
“The incident involved the occupants of a passing vehicle directing repugnant racial epithets at community members walking on campus,” stated the report.
Public Safety is currently investigating the incident “and will share its findings with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Responsibility (OSCCR),” stated the message. According to the OSCCR website, their office “holds LMU students accountable for their violations and helps them grow into more responsible and community-minded persons.”
“If appropriate information becomes available,” BIRT will be providing more details on the incident on their website.
According to their website, BIRT coordinates “university-wide communication and response protocols” where bias may be involved. BIRT may also make “recommendations to the president on proposed responses.” The Team does not conduct investigations, but “ensures responsible university departments respond to incidents reported and actively engage the university’s standard operating framework.” Such departments may contact the affected individuals, while BIRT aims to “communicate effectively” with the LMU community if information is appropriate to share.
BIRT also shared a list of resources in their message where LMU community members can voice concerns. Such services include Public Safety, Ethnic and Intercultural Services, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Student Psychological Services, Campus Ministry, Community of Care and Human Resources Employee Assistance Program.
The Loyolan will follow this story as it unfolds.