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Gonzaga: Perpetrators of last year’s Zoom bombing against Black Student Union have no ties to university, FBI finds

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 25, 2021

Gonzaga University’s administration building is seen on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. The FBI has determined the people who "Zoom bombed" a meeting of Gonzaga's Black Student Union in 2020 most likley did not live in the United States.  (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga University’s administration building is seen on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. The FBI has determined the people who "Zoom bombed" a meeting of Gonzaga's Black Student Union in 2020 most likley did not live in the United States. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The people who invaded a Zoom meeting hosted last year by Gonzaga University’s Black Student Union with racist and homophobic language and images do not have any ties with the university, the school said an investigation has found.

Chief Diversity Officer Robin Kelley released an update Tuesday on the investigation into the Zoom bombing, which took place Nov. 8, 2020.

“The FBI has notified the University that the perpetrators most likely responsible for the November 2020 attack on BSU reside outside the U.S. and have no apparent ties to GU,” Kelley said in an email. “While this finding is significant, it does not negate the harm inflicted upon individuals at the meeting or the wider community. We understand that not knowing the identity of the perpetrators is not the closure we all desired.”

While the Zoom bombing was “deeply disturbing and disruptive,” Kelley said the incident “also provided a catalyst for important conversations and work.”

She said a Black Student Union Task Force was formed this past spring and started meeting this fall to discuss the following priorities:

• Reassessing and reforming restorative justice processes

• Faculty diversity, equity, and inclusion training/education

• Recruitment and retention of faculty and staff (of color)

To those ends, the task force met with Assistant Dean of Students Paula Smith, supervisor of Gonzaga’s Restorative Justice program. The task force has also requested mandatory diversity, equity and inclusion training for faculty; to date, Kelley said more than 1,300 faculty and staff have completed DiversityEdu, a three-hour intercultural fluency training program.

Faculty account for 46% of the more than 1,300 completed programs.

“This is a work in progress,” Kelley said, “and it is extremely important work for us to do together.”

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