St. Thomas students, faculty hold sit-in to protest racist incident

A racist message was written on a dorm room door. Hundreds responded.

Sloane Martin
October 26, 2018 - 5:53 am
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Entercom

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More than a thousand students and faculty gathered yesterday afternoon at the University of St. Thomas for a sit-in after a racist message was written on a freshman's dorm room door.

Speakers discussed the difficulties of being a person of color on the campus in St. Paul and called for substantial action to address the university's culture they say goes beyond what happened to Kevyn Perkins. He tells WCCO-TV that he plans to stay at the school and fight for change.

"I'm unfazed," he said. "I'm strong. And I'm speaking up and standing up for myself."

School president Julie Sullivan has canceled classes Wednesday for a campus wide meeting to discuss race, followed by training sessions for faculty and staff.

"It has to be a moment that we recommit ourselves as a community, but step up our efforts, step up our actions to send the strongest message we can that acts of hate, acts of racism, acts of bigotry will not be tolerated on this campus," she said.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter attended, telling Perkins that the message for change goes beyond the campus.

It's not known who left the racist message, and officials on campus say no police report has been filed, according to the Star Tribune.