Rockhurst University panel targeted with racist comments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rockhurst University is discussing how to move forward after being targeted by hate Thursday evening.

The university said people invaded a virtual panel discussion hosted by Rockhurst University’s Black Student Union. The discussion featured Kansas City Black business owners as part of Black History Month.

Rockhurst said the people entered the virtual meeting, shouted racial epithets and made derogatory statements toward others involved in the meeting.

“We are appalled that our students, colleagues and community members were subjected to this senseless act of violence, and we condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” Thomas B. Curran, Rockhurst University President, said in a letter to students. “There is no place in our society, in our community, or on our Rockhurst University campus for such unspeakable acts of hate.”

Curran said the University was in the process of contacting students, guests, and the community leaders who were targeted, or witnessed what happened.

The university’s security department and computer services are investigating the incident to determine how the people who made the comments accessed the panel. Curran said the school will work with police and prosecutors to identify and prosecute the people responsible.

“No act of hate can divide us if we refuse to let it do so. We stand with our students, and we stand together as a community,” Curran said in the letter.

Director of University Relations Katherine Frohoff tells FOX4 “We are hopeful the authorities will successfully find those responsible and we will continue to provide all necessary assistance.”

“Rockhurst University is first and foremost attending to the needs of our students and others affected by the appalling invasion of a virtual discussion with leaders of Black-owned businesses that was hosted by our Black Student Union last night. We are working with local and federal authorities to learn who is responsible for this senseless act of racism and violence, which we condemn in the strongest possible terms. There is no place in our society, in our community, or on our Rockhurst University campus for such unspeakable acts of hate. We will not let this violent, hateful act divide us. We stand together. We stand with our students.”

Katherine Frohoff, director of university relations at Rockhurst University

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