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University of Iowa President reacts to alleged “racially-motivated” attack

University of Iowa
University of Iowa
IOWA CITY – The President of the University of Iowa, Bruce Harreld, reacted to a recent attack on a student that has been called racially-motivated.

Statement from Bruce Herald:

On May 4, the University of Iowa Police Department issued a Crime Alert after learning one of our students reported a racially motivated attack. We are saddened and outraged by the horrible event that transpired Saturday evening. This kind of violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The UI Police are working with the Iowa City Police Department (ICPD) to investigate. Students have a right to feel safe on this campus.

The dean of students and the president met with Marcus and his family. His safety and well-being are our first priority. If UI students were involved, they will be subject to disciplinary procedures under the student code of conduct.

University of Iowa officials first learned of the incident late Tuesday afternoon from members of the media, but at that time they did not have any details or a police report to share publicly. UI Police contacted ICPD Wednesday morning. Once ICPD provided details of the report, UI Police issued a Crime Alert.

We later learned that the student did visit UI Police late Monday night, but because the crime occurred off campus, he was directed to ICPD to file a report. This was intended to prevent the victim from having to share his story multiple times. However, we now recognize this as a failure in current UI protocol and will be working with many campus and community partners, including ICPD, to improve reporting mechanisms for the future.

The University of Iowa is working to create a climate of inclusion, and this hate crime demonstrates we have a great deal of work left to do.

Earlier statement, from May 5, 2016:

We will not tolerate anything but a safe and inclusive campus for students of all backgrounds. Marcus Owens and his family allowed me to spend the day with them, and I was humbled by their strength and desire to move forward. No one should feel that their race or any aspect of their identity makes them a target. This kind of violence is unacceptable and must be denounced by the entire community.

If UI students were involved, they will be subject to disciplinary procedures under the student code of conduct. The outpouring of support from students, faculty, and staff shows that the University of Iowa is poised to address this difficult issue and will not put up with racist actions.

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