University System statement regarding disrespectful T-shirt message
Posted on 5/12/2014
For More Information Contact: Linda Donlin, Director of Communications and Media Relations North Dakota University System Phone: 701.328.2962 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement from Interim Chancellor Larry C. Skogen:
I add my voice to those stepping forward to express their outrage about the actions of these individuals who demonstrated their ignorance, intolerance, and hatefulness this past weekend. I am indignant about the disrespect conveyed in the repulsive messages on those T-shirts and how this conduct hurts those insulted. I am also angry about how this abhorrent conduct has reflected on the University of North Dakota and the entire University System. This is not who we are, and I cannot express strongly enough how saddened I am by this event.
Statement from UND President Robert Kelley:
I was appalled to learn this weekend that a group of individuals had the poor judgment and lack of awareness and understanding to create and then wear T-shirts that perpetuated a derogatory and harmful stereotype of American Indians. The message on the shirts demonstrated an unacceptable lack of sensitivity and a complete lack of respect for American Indians and all members of the community
These T-shirts were not worn at a UND function -- in fact, the event they are associated with is NOT a university event. They don't appear to have been worn on UND property, and we are not aware that the group represents any UND organization. UND has a responsibility to promote respect and civility within the campus community, and we have the responsibility and right to speak out against hateful behavior. As a University, we teach respect for others. It is imperative that, through our actions, we demonstrate respect for all.