Early this morning, a Grace College student was the victim of a hate incident that is currently under investigation as a hate crime by the Winona Lake Police Department and the Grace College Campus Safety Office. As we investigate, let me be absolutely clear: racism will not be tolerated at Grace College. We are first and foremost a community of believers in Christ. We are one body called to edify and love one another.
There is NO place for hate on our campus. If you believe there is, then you do not belong on our campus.
I am angry and heartbroken that this act has taken place and it is our shared responsibility to respond to this act of hate in a clear and decisive way.
I am asking that anyone with any information about this or other hate-related acts to contact the Grace College Campus Safety Office at 574-269-5344, and they can assist you in in contacting the Winona Lake Police Department. You may also contact the Dean of Students, Aaron Crabtree at 574-527-9662, or Carrie Yocum, at 574-372-5100 x6491 to report any concerns about harassment of any kind. Also, an anonymous notification system will be posted to our Website later today.
If you feel angry, fearful, upset, or vulnerable, the student affairs and counseling teams are available to talk with you. Please contact any of your RD’s or contact the counseling center at 574-372-5100 x6472
Let me be very clear: harassment of any kind will not be tolerated – toward this student or anyone involved in this investigation.
Any requests by the media for comment should be directed to our Director of Public Relations Amanda Banks at 260-229-9925.
Please be mindful of what you may post on social media as this is a sensitive and hurtful situation, but we are taking immediate and decisive action to investigate and assure the safety of all those involved.
Please pray for our campus, our students involved, their families, and those involved in this investigation as we commit to not ignore this situation.
In His service,
Grace College Response to Hate Incident
Racism and harassment of any kind is not tolerated at Grace College. Throughout the past summer, we took action to address and improve racial sensitivity and inclusiveness on campus. These efforts included discussions with African American alumni about their student experience at Grace, an all-faculty and staff meeting to discuss racial sensitivity and inclusiveness, reorganization of various multi-cultural clubs on campus into the Council for Diversity and Inclusion, and the creation of an advisory group on race and diversity comprised of leaders on these issues.
Immediately upon learning of the hate incident in a residence hall this morning, action was taken to address it. The Grace College Campus Safety Office and the Winona Lake Police Department commenced investigations. Grace College administrators communicated personally with the student targeted and his parents. An all-campus email was sent from Grace College President Dr. Katip to inform students, faculty, and staff of the incident and provide contact information to report additional information about this or other hate-related acts as well as contact information for student counseling services. In addition, faculty were instructed to read the statement to each class held today. This afternoon, an all-campus meeting was convened to address the incident. Dr. Katip spoke from his heart on the matter, explained what was being done to address it and led everyone in prayer. This evening two separate meetings were held on campus: one for African American students and another for students who live in the residence hall involved to share their concerns, information, and ideas to address the matter. Tuesday morning an open meeting will be held for all of those on campus affected or concerned about this or related incidents at Grace.
In the days ahead, Grace College will provide updates to the campus and the public as appropriate regarding the investigation and our actions to address this incident. We will continue to seek answers for how best to respond, grow and understand as a campus. We will take all actions necessary to stop any and all harassment on campus and prevent it from reoccurring while we care for and minister to those affected by today’s incident. Grace College is steadfast in our commitment to ensure all people feel welcomed and respected on our campus. As Dr. Katip shared this afternoon, we must be “an inclusive, welcoming, respectful, civil, and loving community of believers — one that loves all our neighbors in ways that demonstrate the love of Jesus, in keeping with the Word of God as our authority.”