Brigham Young University denounced the actions and words of one of its students after he was caught on video using a homophobic slur while washing away a rainbow-colored chalk-art message on a sidewalk at the southwestern edge of campus.
A video circulated on the Internet and social media captured the student Thursday night pouring a large jug of water on a rainbow-colored block Y that had been drawn to look like the logo of the university in front of the stairs leading to upper campus from the corner of 800 North and 200 East near Brick Oven and the campus tennis courts.
BYU called the slur and the student’s behavior disrespectful, hurtful and hateful in a series of tweets from its official Twitter account. The official statement said school officials are reviewing the incident, apparently to consider actions against the student for violating university standards.
The student’s slur and actions came three days after BYU President Kevin Worthen announced at a faculty conference that BYU will launch an Office of Belonging. The new office will be charged with combating “prejudice of any kind, including that based on race, ethnicity, nationality, tribe, gender, age, disability, socioeconomic status, religious belief and sexual orientation.”
The university’s Twitter account referred to Worthen’s announcement and said BYU intends to create a community where every student feels belonging and love.
BYU’S STATEMENT ON BELONGING
We are united by our common primary identity as children of God (Acts 17:29; Psalm 82:6) and our commitment to the truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ (BYU Mission Statement). We strive to create a community of belonging composed of students, faculty and staff whose hearts are knit together in love (Mosiah 18:21) where:
- All relationships reflect devout love of God and a loving, genuine concern for the welfare of our neighbor (BYU Mission Statement);
- We value and embrace the variety of individual characteristics, life experiences and circumstances, perspectives, talents and gifts of each member of the community and the richness and strength they bring to our community (1 Corinthians 12:12–27);
- Our interactions create and support an environment of belonging (Ephesians 2:19); and
- The full realization of each student’s divine potential is our central focus (BYU Mission Statement).