The construction site of the new Carolyn and Kem Gardner Building at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 5/14/17. Photo by Adam Fondren/Daily Utah Chronicle

Vandals wrote anti-Black slurs at the construction site for the new Carolyn and Kem Gardner building at the University of Utah over the weekend.

Construction crews found the damage Monday morning, and later painted over and removed the graffiti. The U notified students of the incident via email shortly after.

“[Racial slurs] are unacceptable and harmful to our campus community,” the U said in a statement.

According to U spokesperson Chris Nelson, three local high school students were arrested Tuesday by the U’s Department of Public Safety in regard to the incident. All three are minors and are being referred to juvenile court for trespass and criminal mischief charges.

An initial release said that some items were stolen from the property, however, U Police Chief Dale Brophy later told the Daily Utah Chronicle that nothing was discovered missing.

Police are not disclosing specifically what was written on the building, but Brophy said more information will later be released in a statement. He wasn’t able to give a timeline for that statement, however, because the investigation is still ongoing.

In response to this incident and others targeting Black students and people of color, including racist flyers being posted on campus earlier this year, the U is forming an Anti-Racism Task Force that Nelson said the school will announce later this week.


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This story will be updated as more information becomes available.


  1. Their parents should be embarrassed for this type of behavior, but most of the time this behavior is encouraged by the parents. how insecure some people to stoop this low or even to encourage this. You”re children are raised with insecurities when you imprint this in their minds, sooo sad they are not taught how diversity will broaden their horizons and racisms limit their thinking and abilities. You should be held accountable for your actions and the authorities that don’t hold you responsible are encouraging this same bad behavior that will always repeat itself until they themselves are affected.

  2. I am disgusted to read what happened and how ignorant and hate-filled people are today…and even more frustrated that these were teenagers – demonstrating for all to see that their degenerate thinking and beliefs and rearing by their parents continues to foster this hideous and pervasive culture that attacks fellow human beings because they aren’t part of their own big homogeneous, inbred community of hate.

    I hope they might learn from their errors…but fear that is too much to hope for.


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