Student suspected to be responsible for bias incident

Hannah Lentz

A statement from Grand Valley Police Department Chief Renee Freeman revealed that the person believed to be responsible for the racial bias incident reported on Feb. 17 is a Grand Valley State University student and the owner of the dry erase board that was vandalized.

The individual has been referred to Dean of Students Bart Merkle to address the student code violation at hand. GVSU will not release the student’s name due to university policy.

When the incident was initially brought to the campus’s attention, several organizations and groups were highly alarmed, prompting assemblies, discussions in the classroom and a university-wide alert to the situation.

On March 26, there will be a campus-wide “Teach-In” motivated by bias incidents on campus. The day-long event will feature student and faculty presentations about preventing discrimination and oppression on GVSU’s campuses.

The Teach-In is being put on by the Executive Committee of the Senate with the collaboration of the Division of Inclusion and Equity, the Dean of Students Office, the LGBT Resource Center, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center and the Women’s Center.

GVSU also currently has a Team Against Bias composed of several campus representatives to review information regarding bias incidents. The team includes Dwight Hamilton, assistant vice president of Inclusion & Equity; Jessica Jennrich, director of the Women’s Center; and Eric Klingensmith, the coordinator of crisis intervention.

For more information on reporting bias incidents, students can contact the Dean of Students at 616-331-3585 or Inclusion and Equity at 616-331-3296.

The police department had no further comment on the situation at this time.

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