The following message was shared by Nebraska Wesleyan University President Darrin Good with the campus community in response to a recent hate-filled social media post:
I take this opportunity to inform the NWU community that a screenshot of a hateful, disgusting Snapchat post, allegedly written by a Nebraska Wesleyan University student, has circulated on multiple social media platforms in recent days. As your President and speaking on behalf of Nebraska Wesleyan University, we unequivocally and vehemently condemn the language used in this post: it was hate-filled, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and antithetical to NWU values.
We take such matters very seriously. The Prairie Wolf Promise and Code of Student Conduct call upon students to be “just and equitable in their treatment of all members of the community.” We take seriously the university’s obligation to act quickly and decisively when a student is found responsible for violations of the Code of Student Conduct. We appreciate all who brought this posting to the university’s attention. I assure you that the university is vigorously responding to this situation. We have initiated an investigation to quickly address this detestable post.
I, also, want to apologize for our delay in responding in an official capacity via a Nebraska Wesleyan University email to the entire community. Though I responded immediately on Twitter as President of the University from @NWU_President and @NEWesleyan responded on Twitter as well, I clearly see now that this was insufficient. I apologize and take full responsibility for the delay this has caused in communicating via email to all students, faculty and staff. In no way was this an attempt to sweep the matter under the rug and we, as a university, should have published sooner an official response against this disgusting social media post.
Here, I share my tweet in response to those who tagged me, “Sincerely, thanks for informing me about this revolting post. It is racist, misogynistic, homophobic AND has absolutely NO place at NWU. It goes against everything I stand for personally and the Core Values of NWU. We are already working to take actions to address this situation.”
I have been in dialogue with student government leaders and others on campus to help me understand how our response has fallen short. We also had a poignant and well attended event on Friday hosted by Wendy Hunt (Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion) and Antwan Wilson (Distinguished Visiting Professor of Education) to discuss issues around racism, police brutality and how we can improve Nebraska Wesleyan. From that townhall discussion, it was clear that improvements need to be made. As an institution of higher learning, Nebraska Wesleyan exists as a deeply interconnected community rooted in learning and love and we, therefore, must implement changes. I vow to redouble our efforts and work with the campus leadership among students, staff, and faculty to not simply respond with more words and promises, but with actions!
To be unmistakably clear, Nebraska Wesleyan WILL NOT tolerate hate speech. We will aggressively work to identify individuals who violate the Student Code of Conduct in ways that attack our deeply-rooted commitment to social justice.
Nebraska Wesleyan WILL create more opportunities for the difficult conversations that will lead to becoming an antiracist campus community. We will do so through additional programs, funding, curriculum, spaces (virtual and physical) and policies that put into action what is needed.
Nebraska Wesleyan MUST create a campus where each individual feels more than “welcomed” by the majority or those with privilege, but we must be a university where each person can feel they “belong.”
Nebraska Wesleyan University and I, personally, stand in support of Black Lives Matter, of becoming an antiracist campus community, and of intentionally infusing a deep commitment to social justice in our campus community, our city, and the world.