April 18, 2018

Dear UNT students, faculty and staff,

You may have seen the news coverage of an incident that occurred yesterday at one of our University Union dining facilities where a student employee used a racial slur as the ID for a student customer on their receipt.

Immediately upon learning of the incident, our Dining Services unit looked into what happened, discovered who was responsible and terminated the individual who used this slur.

I quickly responded to the conversation in social media and want to repeat that this kind of speech is contrary to our values. Our university community has a deep history of treating each other respectfully and caring for one another.

From listening to discussions in social media, it appears as though assumptions are being made about the race of the person responsible. It is important to know that both the customer and employee were the same race, and regardless of other societal views it is my belief that the use of this term is never OK.

I am proud that our university responded swiftly and I know that as a campus community we will continue to embrace our diversity and encourage being inclusive and celebratory of each of our community members for the individuals they are.

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk