November 2, 2017
President responds to racist vandalism
Dear Kansas State Community,
Yesterday a disturbing incident affected our Manhattan campus and caused significant pain to our students, faculty and staff. The racist messages found on a car parked off campus are a direct attack on the values of our community.
Those who wish us harm should not be allowed to create a culture of fear and divisiveness. As I hear from student leadership following this incident, your message is clear: We need to ensure the safety of those affected by this attack.
The K-State Police Department will immediately increase its patrols and visible presence on the Manhattan campus. Those who need support should use the many resources we make available through student life and our counseling center. Please avail yourselves of assistance if needed, including our LiveSafe app and Wildcat Walk services. If we need to make additional resources available, we will.
We call on the Riley County Police Department to use all available resources in its criminal investigation, including any necessary state and federal resources. There has already been widespread misinformation about this incident; we need to make decisions based on factual information, not rumors, unsubstantiated social media posts or stories. Let’s get it right.
My military career taught me that our collective safety depends on strength and vigilance. We all need to exercise both. I am asking Vice President Cindy Bontrager to conduct a complete audit of security cameras on our Manhattan campus and develop a plan to improve our coverage. We will review security plans and improve as needed.
In this uncertain time, I ask each of us to reach out to anyone who needs support and be alert for ways to help. We need to come together and resist those who wish to pull us apart.
Richard B. Myers
Kansas State University