May. 25, 2017
At one point on Wednesday, April 13, a swastika was drawn on a white board above the residence hall room door of two students — an African American and Caucasian student. This violates Biola University’s community standards and also potentially violates state and federal law as a hate incident. The university grieves over the pain and suffering this act has caused students and the entire Biola community.
Biola’s Campus Safety was made aware of the incident on Monday, April 18, which prompted them to start an investigation in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD). Biola administration from Student Development and Campus Safety met with students to discuss the incident on April 18 and notified the entire student body and staff on April 19. A letter was sent to parents on April 20.
The individual(s) responsible have not yet been identified, but the investigation is ongoing. It needs to be clearly and publicly stated that such an action is in direct opposition to Biola's values of truth, transformation and testimony, which are intended to ensure that our students are equipped in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. Biola’s community is to be characterized by Christ’s love in order to be a relevant and redemptive voice in a changing world.
All Biola students should expect to live and learn within a community where they are valued. Unfortunately, Biola is not immune to hate incidents like this. The difference is how the Biola community responds. President Barry H. Corey underscored this in chapel on Monday, April 20.
“I am deeply distressed and grieved by this incident, and I hope all of us on this campus are distressed,” said Corey. “We must lament these actions that convey hate and discrimination which deny dignity to a child of God, created in His image as all of us are. Our hearts must break when moments like this happen. We can’t tolerate it or act like it’s no big deal. This act undermines the heart of what it means to be a Christ-centered community.”
In order to process the incident further there were two campus events held for students. First, Residence Life hosted a forum on Thursday, April 21 at 2:00 p.m. in Blackstone Hall’s first floor conference room. Secondly, there was a panel and discussion addressing racial incidents on campus, on Thursday, April 21, at 6:00 p.m. in the Mosaic Cultural Center. Students who experience distress related to this incident may contact the Counseling Center or the Pastoral Care team.
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