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High Point University investigating hate crime

The university said hate language directed toward members of the LGBTQ+ community was written in a public place on one of the buildings.

HIGH POINT, N.C. — High Point University is investigating a hate crime and vandalism case on its campus.

The university said hate language directed toward members of the LGBTQ+ community was written in a public place on one of the buildings.

The administration was notified about the incident last week. The university said those responsible have been identified and charged with a hate crime and further charges are possible.

High Point University President Nido Qubein sent the following letter to students and parents about the crime.

As we’ve stated before publicly and forcefully on many occasions, HPU abhors racism and bias in any form and will not tolerate it under any circumstances. You are urged to report any occurrences using the bias incident report form through the Office of Student Life or contact the Assistant Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion, Dr. Doug Hall. We will continue to work together to actively create an environment of inclusivity where every member of our community feels safe, welcomed, respected, and appreciated.

Now that the Offices of Security and Student Life have completed their investigation, I’m writing to share my disappointment, sadness, and condemnation concerning an utterly hateful statement that was written in a public place in one of our buildings. It was a racial slur that goes against every fiber of our university’s values. And it involved vandalism, too. Additionally, we have an active investigation regarding an incident that appears to have stemmed from use of hate language directed toward members of the LGBTQ+ community.

HPU stands for equality, not discrimination. We believe in respect, not insults. We are all God’s children deserving of each other’s acceptance and inclusion.

Once the administration was notified of the incidents last week and over the weekend, Campus Security immediately followed the appropriate channels to investigate, and Student Life quickly assisted. The person(s) responsible have been identified and charged with a hate crime as defined by the Student Guide to Campus Life, and continued investigative follow up is happening. The adjudication process is underway, while other charges may be pending. Hate language is not tolerated in accordance with the Student Guide to Campus Life.

As I have shared in multiple communications with you and even with our Triad community throughout the year, my heart aches when anyone in our campus community or beyond is hurt by acts of racism or prejudice.

We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. We are one. We should be one. And on the campus of High Point University, we want to live in a way that demonstrates the institution’s beliefs and values.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death, you’ll remember I shared this sentiment:

“We at High Point University are committed to being an institution focused on diversity and inclusivity and a place framed with love and unity.”

Nothing has changed this commitment. We continue to invest in productive ways to create an atmosphere where every member of our family feels “at home” here. And I trust you will join me in working to always ensure that our campus is a safe and welcoming home for every student, every faculty and staff member, and every visitor to High Point University.

May God bless us all and guide our campus and our nation to unity, civility, gratitude, and mutual respect.