To the Members of the Villanova Community,
Although many weeks have passed since this event occurred, due to the situation with COVID-19 and other extenuating circumstances beyond our control, we were unable to publish this letter until now. However, we still want the Villanova community to be aware of this incident and encourage dialogue about how we can be a more inclusive and welcoming community.
On February 14, the Blue Key Society and the Office of Undergraduate Admission welcomed over 2,300 accepted students and their families to campus for Early Action Candidates’ Weekend. For the most part, the event was well received and ran smoothly. On behalf of all the Blue Key Society members, we would like to address an appalling bias incident that occurred during the weekend.
After eating dinner with one of the families in Donahue Hall on South Campus, one of our Blue Key tour guides was walking a family back to Main Campus. On the way to the crosswalk at Ithan Avenue and Lancaster Avenue, the family and tour guide were confronted by a passing car. An individual in the car proceeded to roll down his window and began spewing racial slurs at the family. The Blue Key member immediately consoled and supported the family at the time of the incident. The family returned the next day and the tour guide, President of Blue Key, the Director of Undergraduate Admission and Father Peter all extended the family a formal apology.
Since then, a formal Villanova Bias Incident Form has been filled out by the appropriate parties. We have been assured that there is an ongoing investigation to determine the perpetrator of this despicable act.
We constantly talk about being a welcoming community here at Villanova, and this incident does not reflect Villanova’s values by any means. We hope by sharing this upsetting incident we can encourage an open conversation around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion here at Villanova. In response to the situation, we hosted a forum for members in Blue Key to discuss the incident. We were planning on hosting a similar forum open to the entire Villanova community in the lead up to Regular Decision Candidates’ Day in April but unfortunately were not able to due to the University’s closure. Still, we wanted to be transparent with our community and hope that sharing this difficult situation will promote dialogue about how we can all make Villanova a more diverse, equitable and inclusive place.
The Blue Key Society Executive Board