St. Thomas investigates racist message left on freshman’s dorm room door

University of St. Thomas freshman Kevyn Perkins woke Friday to a message so hateful it stuck with him through two classes.

Written in red on his door was this: “[N-word] go back.”

Perkins tells the Pioneer Press the message was repeated on the name tag attached to his door, but someone misspelled one of the words.

The 18-year-old was upset enough he scrubbed the hate off the wall right away. But this wasn’t anything new for him.

While getting an early start to his freshman year last summer, a group of a few young men — one wearing a Trump shirt — confronted Perkins, he told the newspaper’s columnist, Ruben Rosario.

“What’s up, dawg? Are you sure you are supposed to be around here? Are you sure you belong here?” one of them said to Perkins.

He ignored it. Now, after his second bout of racism on the Catholic university’s campus, Perkins is trying to heed his brother’s advice.

“I was so mad that I felt like transferring that same day,” Perkins said of the recent message on his door. “I was done. But my brother … told me that’s what they want me to do and to stay put. We’ll see.”

University officials say they’re investigating the message incident. Any student involved could be expelled, the school said.

“As university leaders, we unequivocally condemn this act of hate and call on all members of our St. Thomas community to work together to ensure that everyone understands that this kind of cowardly act has no place at St. Thomas, or anywhere else. This behavior violates our convictions as a Catholic university and our code of conduct, and it will not be tolerated.”

  • AmiSchwab

    st. thomas as in saintliness catholic kind of thing? i like being a non-believer.

    • Joseph

      You don’t have to be Catholic, or even religious, to go there (I’m a Tommie grad, not a Catholic). Two of my best friends there are athiests.

  • MrE85
  • lindblomeagles

    Jim, we understand you do not believe in racism. We’ve read your posts before. What we would like for you to do is understand the law. Allegations require a suspect (s). Saint Thomas was pretty clear in this story that they do not know who did this – ergo – no suspect. As for the racist mural; if it is on the wall, it is on the wall. You don’t need to collect evidence for that either.

    • Kellpa07

      I don’t know what the odds of this being a hoax are, but they are not zero. There is plenty of racism around, any is too much. However, that doesn’t stop people from faking racist acts, such as they did at St. Olaf, Oberlin, and many others.

      Pointing such things out does not mean one doesn’t believe in racism. It means one takes it seriously.

      • lindblomeagles

        Again, Kelly, we understand you don’t believe in racism. We’ve read your post too. Now, there is something we want you to do for us. Do some investigation on your own. St Thomas has been in the news for this before. You obviously can use a computer. Research these incidents on Google that way you can validate your own beliefs.

        • Kellpa07

          Upon what evidence do you think I don’t believe in racism?

          • lindblomeagles

            A better question is why do you keep arguing about hoaxes and fake racism stories at UST? I believe I’ve already pointed you in the direction to solve your own critique of the problem – twice.

          • Kellpa07

            In other words, you made it up

          • lindblomeagles

            In other words Kellpa, nobody on this post is going to try to persuade you racism doesn’t exist. Everybody reading Bob’s column, including Bob himself, has been here before. As I said before, the information is on the web for you to read at your discretion. We’ve all heard you before, you don’t believe racism exists. Time to move on.

          • Kellpa07

            Again, when did I say racism doesn’t exist? You made it up.

      • Jeff C.

        Just curious…Yes or no – do you think someone left a note on Kevyn’s door?

  • lindblomeagles

    An unknown student (s) at Saint Thomas wrote the N-word on the campus sidewalk back on November 12, 2016, and a few months earlier (April 2016) the campus tried to hold an anti-racism campaign.

    • Kellpa07

      If they are unknown, how do they know it’s a student?

      • lindblomeagles

        How they knew it was a student in November 12, 2016 was not in the story, but if you are interested in reading more about the 2016 incident just pull it off the web. Since I live in Saint Paul, I remembered St. Thomas having this problem before, so I googled racism at UST and up the stories came. It wasn’t that hard. You could probably even go straight to the Star Tribune archives on the web and get more stories there.

  • lindblomeagles

    I’m going to tell you the same thing I told your pal Kellpa. Everybody reading this post has heard comments like yours before. We all understand you don’t believe racism happened here. We thank you for your opinions. Time to move on.

  • Brian Simon

    I imagine the perp thought he was “being funny.” I wonder if his parents will get the joke when he’s expelled & tuition is still due?