Dear Campus Community,

Yesterday evening I was made aware of two disturbing incidents involving Lawrence students and members of our surrounding community.

The first incident occurred at the Banta Bowl during a men’s soccer team practice session. The driver or passengers of a truck passing by the field shouted racial slurs at the team while they were practicing. The second incident took place on Wednesday evening, around 9:00 p.m., when a student witnessed a group of loud vehicles cheering and yelling racial slurs at the intersection of Lawe Street and College Avenue.

These incidents are not acceptable and are in direct conflict with our values as a community. We do not—and will not tolerate—this type of hateful behavior on or near our campus. I have spoken to Mayor Jake Woodford and know that he shares my concern and agrees that behavior of this nature has no place in our community. 

Security footage of Wednesday’s incident has been shared with the Appleton Police Department (APD), and we will continue to work with the APD to identify the individual(s) involved in the incidents. I am also committed to working with the City of Appleton, including the chief of police with whom I met this morning, to ensure that the safety of Lawrence students both on and off campus remains a top priority for the city.

My heart goes out to our students who had to endure such vile behavior, as well as to all members of our community who have had to endure similar experiences. We at Lawrence are a united community, and we will stand together to support each other even at our darkest moments. My colleagues and I pledge to work with our student, faculty, staff and community leaders, including Timber Smith, Appleton’s new diversity, equity, and inclusion coordinator, to plan a time for the campus and Appleton communities to come together in solidarity and to ensure that all Lawrentians feel a sense of belonging. We will share more information on this event in the coming days.

If you experience or see any further incidents of concern, please contact Campus Safety at 920-832-6999 or at security@lawrence.edu. Or if you witness a bias incident, fill out a bias incident report.  The Rave Guardian Safety App also provides easy access to safety and community resources. To learn more or to download the app, please visit the Lawrence website.

In addition, campus support services are readily available for all students, including Wellness Services, Dean Linda Morgan-Clement and Associate Dean Terra Winston in Spiritual & Religious Life, and Dr. Brittany Bell in the Diversity & Intercultural Center.

Whether you live or work on campus, Lawrence is our home. I look forward to joining with you to stand against hatred and bigotry and to find solace in the strength and resilience of our community.

Sincerely,

President Laurie A. Carter

Laurie A. Carter