University outlines plans to address hate speech

December 17, 2020 GMT

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The president of North Dakota State University has issued a personal apology and outlined plans to address recent hate speech incidents and improve the racial climate on campus.

In a message to the university community, President Dean Bresciani said the university must aggressively speak out against bigotry, racism, and prejudice.

“Hate speech causes students, staff, and faculty of color to experience campus as a racially hostile environment. To all people of color who are members of our community, please know that I am ashamed that hate speech exists on our campus,” Bresciani writes.


A group of NDSU students were recently discovered to be using a slur against Black people on a messaging app, officials said. Bresciani also said two other instances of “potential hate speech” were discovered and brought to the school’s attention. He did not elaborate.

The university’s Equity Office has launched an investigation into the incidents and an external consultant has been hired to assist, according to school officials.

Diversity and cultural competency training will be provided for all incoming students beginning next fall, KFGO reported. A 15-member task force is expected to complete its preliminary report in January on ways to make the university more diverse and inclusive.

Earlier this month, hundreds of students and members of Black Lives Matter took to the sidewalks and streets around the NDSU campus to denounce the racist messages.