Arson or Terror?

A letter concerning recent Arson attacks,

On Wednesday, January 17, we sent an update to our campus community regarding a case of arson on campus. At the time, we did not send that information to alumnae/i because we thought it was a campus incident. You can read that statement on the St. Kate’s website here. As we learned today, this is a larger story, and we want to keep the alumnae/i family informed.

News about our former student and the suspect in this arson case, Tnuza Hassan, is being covered in many media outlets, including the Star Tribune, the Pioneer Press, and the Associated Press.

In response, the following statement was shared with media and on social media this afternoon:

We are shocked and saddened by the statements made by a former student, Tnuza Hassan, regarding her motives for starting fires on campus earlier this week. We are dismayed by her statements and know that they have impacted us all deeply.

“In addition to my sadness, I have a tremendous amount of gratitude knowing that all of our students, faculty, staff, and other community members are safe,” said President Roloff. “I am eternally grateful to those who reported the fires immediately, to our University Public Safety, Residence Life, and to local law enforcement who acted quickly and effectively to respond to this situation and keep us safe.”

We believe this was an isolated incident and are cooperating with law enforcement officials. Our top concern is our students and the campus community. We are proud to be an open and welcoming University that embraces diversity. As such, we strongly believe that one person does not represent an entire group, and we deeply value all Muslim members of our community.

This incident has developed into a scenario that none of us could have imagined. Please know that I and the leadership of the University are actively working to keep our campus community informed and to reach out to other key members of our community. Yesterday, we reached out to parents of students in the College for Women to let them know about the arson incident. We will be following up with them regarding today’s developments. Last night, I met with some of our Muslim students to let them know I am here for them as well as all of our students. Communications staff is providing support, along with Multicultural and International Programs and Services (MIPS) and other University student services, to ensure all of our students feel informed, safe, and protected.

I value each and every member of the St. Kate’s family, which includes our graduates. Please know you are all in my thoughts.

St. Catherine University

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