MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The University of St. Thomas says it’s investigating and consulting St. Paul police after students found a racist word written on a dusty window in a dormitory bathroom.

In statement Thursday, President Julie Sullivan said the students found the racist word late Wednesday night on a bathroom window in Ireland Hall, a men’s dorm built in 1912 with a common bathroom on each floor.

“This incident is painful for our community,” the statement said, adding: “We will continue to aggressively investigate and take strong disciplinary action against individuals who are found to be involved.”

It’s unclear when the word was written on the window or how many people saw it. The university says it’s reviewing surveillance footage, speaking with residents and consulting the St. Paul Police Department.

In response to the incident, the university is offering listening sessions and counseling to students. Also on Thursday evening, there’ll be a gathering outside Ireland Hall to “reclaim the space” and reaffirm the school’s values.

“We’re grateful the students reported this incident,” the statement said. “We all play a part in helping to build an inclusive culture at St. Thomas.”

The University of St. Thomas is a private Catholic university based in St. Paul. Fall classes started last week.

Last year, a racist message was left on a student’s door in Brady Hall, another men’s dorm. The incident led to the school cancelling all classes for an afternoon to address racism on campus.

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