Covering Kentucky

Feb 11, 2011 5:55 PM

Police On Alert After Reports Of Racial Unrest At Georgetown College

Several incidents reported on Georgetown College's campus involving racial unrest have school officials taking action and asking for help from police.

"I have asked the Georgetown Police Department to have a 24-hour/day presence on our campus through the weekend," said Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students Todd Gambill, Ed.D in an e-mail to the student body. "With all of the tension on campus I thought it would be reassuring to supplement our Campus Safety Team with the GPD."

Georgetown College President William H. Crouch, Jr. also sent out an e-mail to the student body. This is the text of that e-mail:

Georgetown College Community:

The past seven days have been difficult for our community. We have been reeling over a reported racial slur directed at one of our outstanding African American students, identification of racially insensitive symbols in isolated places on campus, hateful graffiti and hostile remarks made in a classroom setting. These events have momentarily shaken our feelings of safety, collegiality and unity. I hurt for every student on campus that feels they have ever been treated in a degrading way. It is not right nor just under any circumstances.

As stated earlier, these events are totally unacceptable at Georgetown College. We are committed to hold every individual and group accountable for these actions. They must stop now!

Last night, an organization on campus was sanctioned for actions that have created a hostile environment. While a racial slur was reported not a single person on campus has identified the person responsible for this reported action. The college and national headquarters of the organizations have taken action based upon the group's role in contributing to the negative tension we now feel on campus. The group has assured the college and their national headquarters that they will do all necessary to get back in good standing with both organizations and to be a part of the solution of unifying our campus.

The hateful graffiti found in the bathroom stall in Anderson dorm have been removed. Anyone defacing campus property with slanderous remarks directed toward anyone or group in the future will face serious immediate sanctions. The individual involved with the classroom incident met with Dr. Gambill today to begin a process of adjudication.

I am asking that each of you rededicate your efforts to maintaining an inclusive and welcoming place at Georgetown College. There are members of our community that are hurting and unsettled... this is a sad moment for us. Let's not let hate and ignorance spoil what we are collectively building here. We are ALL Tigers!

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions, concerns or suggestions. Tomorrow, I have cancelled all appointments to have open office time from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, for any student or employee that would like to speak with me. Just drop by my office at a time good for you.

There is only one way we can build trust on this campus and that is to be consistent in our actions, accountability, and sanctions. I pledge you that will happen. This is the time for this institution and each individual to stand-up!

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