Kellie’s portfolio showcases various article written throughout her career as news editor and editor-in-chief at the Los Angeles Loyolan, with a focus on leading breaking news coverage.

Coverage of the hoax active shooter, death of Bianca Red Arrow and the alleged hate crime earned Kellie awards in the Best Breaking News category from the California College Media Association.

See contact information below and get in touch.

Let’s build something together

I stand by the article

This article was previously published by the Los Angeles Loyolan in December 2018 and can be found here. 

Last week, an opinion article titled “The U.S. reserves the right to refuse entry” ran in our Opinion section. In the week since the article was printed, put on our website and shared on our social media twice, it has started a heated debate among the LMU community.

Comments in regards to the article have claimed that we at the Loyolan—not only myself and the writer, but the entire staff and our advisor—have failed by publishing this piece.

This article expressed a minority opinion on this campus, and similar to many other conservative views, it was immediately attacked. I stand by the article in its current form and want to address some criticism it received and why we need to strive to be more accepting of viewpoints that differ from our own. Alienating views such as the one presented in that article do not make them disappear but place both sides in echo chambers and eliminates the opportunity to change.

Some readers chose to comment on what they believed our journalistic standards to be. At the Loyolan, we hold our writers and editors to a high standard. We are all also students and are learning, which is why we did provide one update to the article that I felt was necessary. The article misinterpreted the Pew Research findings: while the study looked to see how undocumented immigrants lean politically, our article reported they vote instead of how they may vote, which non-citizens cannot do. We wanted the article to completely reflect that study with accuracy.

Commenters said that the article wasn’t covered by the First Amendment and freedom of speech because it was based in “racist assumption,” and that it shouldn’t have been published because it does not support LMU’s mission dedicated to social justice. The First Amendment only prevents government censorship. It is important that as a community we allow everyone the opportunity to share their views. Not all students align with all of LMU’s mission, and  their differing views are not racist simply because they call for a diferent immigration policy. 

The Letter to the Editor published below criticized the article for presenting facts and alleged that the article was presented as news. The article simply was not presented in any way similarly to how our news stories are presented. This article ran in our Opinion section, it was accompanied by our disclaimer that the article solely represented the opinion of the author and when it was posted to the Loyolan’s social media, it was billed as a “student’s opinion” on the migrant caravan. The author presented his opinion beginning in the second paragraph and continued to throughout the article and countered pro-immigration views with his own.

It is important to remember that just because we may not like the facts, that doesn’t make them any less true. A border patrol agent did say that most of the caravan is men, and it was confirmed by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Officials from Mexico have described the migrants as violent.

Other criticism came down to the sources the author chose to use, specifically about the use of information from the Washington Examiner and Fox News. While some of the sources used are more right-leaning, this is no different than sourcing left-leaning MSNBC or Huffington Post. The Examiner and Fox sources cited the government agency of Homeland Security and a border patrol agent. The same information was also reported by other outlets, such as USA Today. Validity shouldn’t come from our agreement with a source, but the validity of the information itself.

Finally, this article did not present a random or extreme position. A nationwide poll showed that 54 percent of Americans see the migrant caravan as “some kind of threat,” according to USA Today.

While I adamantly disagree with the author’s opinion, I stand by this article and his right to express this view. We do not compromise our content, or journalistic integrity, because of online scrutiny. I hope that students of all beliefs will feel comfortable enough to share unpopular opinions on this campus. We all need to learn from each other. It’s hard to learn if you are never confronted with an opinion different than your own.

University responds to communication failures

This article was originally published by the Loyolan in November 2018 and can be found here. 

Find previous coverage by Kellie on this event here and here.

The University held a town hall meeting on Thursday to address the failure of LMU’s emergency management response during the Nov. 9 incident, when a prank gone wrong resulted in an LAPD active shooter response.

At the town hall, President Snyder opened the meeting by apologizing to the community and summarizing the steps the University is taking to address their lack of response. According to Snyder:

  • Administration members, including the Dean of Students Terri Mangione, Director of SPS Kristin Linden and professor William Parham from the School of Education, have met with students to offer comfort and support.
  • Assistant Chief Danny Martinez has taken over DPS on an interim basis, and Snyder said DPS has reviewed its training and protocols and has “confirmed their readiness.”
  • The independent law firm Musick Peeler & Garrett has been hired to investigate University processes and protocols from an “external, impartial perspective,” according to Snyder.

“We are committed to finding out what happened through a comprehensive review, and we are also committed to being transparent about the findings,” President Snyder said.

The town hall also allowed questions and comments from the audience.

“I am angry. I believe your communication right now is promoting vulnerability,” Robyn Cerutti, the mother of a student, said in an emotional comment to the panel. “You need to be more definitive. Right now, everybody knows LMU is vulnerable. What is going to keep somebody from really coming onto campus? I want to know how everybody in this room and my son are safe today, not wait for an investigation.”

Additionally, some students took issue with the time of the panel, as it was held early in the day while classes were in session, which prevented many from attending.

Common questions submitted through a form sent in President’s Snyder’s email included: “Why wasn’t there an alert sent out right away?”, “When will the investigation results be available?”, “What is happening to the person who pulled this prank?” and “Will anyone in the DPS be held accountable?” Questions pertaining to the investigation, University personnel and student conduct processes were not answered. In terms of when the investigation results will be available, Rebecca Chandler, vice president of human resources, had no definitive response, only that the investigation was underway.

Other concerns included emergency procedures for LMU’s other campus sites, the speed of social media, protocol in the daycare center and the opt-out option of LMU’s safety app, LiveSafe.

“I think the panel was a start,” said Alo Coleman, ASLMU president. “I’m so thankful people shared their experiences. Students are right, [the panel members] weren’t [on campus during the active shooter]. It hurt me, and I know they felt it too, how real the situation was for all of us.”

A test of the LMU emergency response system was conducted Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. and appeared to be successful.

ASLMU also addressed Public Safety’s mishandled, delayed response to the incident on Wednesday in its weekly senate meeting.

Sam Cassidy, a junior film and television production and psychology double major, was in attendance and brought up their idea for a student-run Twitter account to inform students about emergency situations. With the handle @lmu_watchdogs, Cassidy hopes that the account will be a faster way to update students by working with RAs and RDs and keeping the Twitter student-run.

“LMU DPS is allegedly investigating and improving their systems,” Cassidy said. “But while they are doing so, and in the event those systems fail, we now have something more immediate to rely on.”

Cassidy said the way they and other students received information Friday night—through police scanner, social media accounts and messages with friends—gave them the idea for an emergency alert Twitter account. Cassidy explained how they were told several different stories about what the situation was on Friday before they knew what truly happened. They believed if a system such as their Twitter account had been in place, students would have been able to get information from students directly affected and would have caused less confusion and rumors.

“[The Department of Public Safety] didn’t do their job in this case, but [neither did] RAs, RDs … library staff,” Luca Basilone, speaker of the senate and junior entrepreneurship major, said. “Moving forward, what we were discussing is how can we integrate all of these different areas on campus and make sure that we are aware of what happened.”

Other plans ASLMU discussed in the future were zoning areas around campus that are the safest to be if there is a threat, which included University Hall, the Habit and the library. Additionally, the availability of SPS resources were brought up, as students have complained about the difficulty they’ve experienced in receiving adequate, timely help.

“This is going to be a long-term journey. It’s going to take time and it’s going to take teamwork,” Brenda Quintanilla, ASLMU vice president, said. “We have a brainstorm of action steps, but we don’t know how realistic they are.”

To watch the full video of the town hall, click here.

“It was tough because we don’t have a lot of answers,” Thomas Poon, vice president and provost, said. “But what I got from this panel was so many different avenues that we have to explore … What was brought to light is going to be so helpful to us.”

BREAKING NEWS: LAPD responds to potential active shooter on campus

This article was previously published by the Los Angeles Loyolan in November 2018 and can be found here. 

UPDATE 11/09/18: This story has been updated with information on the Department of Public Safety’s response and student reactions. 

UPDATE 11/12/18: This story has been updated with information about the student involved. 

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD)  found no signs of an active shooter and cleared Founders Pavilion tonight just after 6:15p.m. The LAPD responded to a report of a potential “active shooter” near Founders Pavilion just before 6 p.m. tonight.

Students in the area did not report hearing gunshots. 

Many students expressed concern over not receiving alerts through the Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) safety app LiveSafe, which students were encouraged to download and thought they would receive updates that may affect their safety through it. 

As of 6:40 p.m., almost an hour after LAPD received the 911 call, DPS has not sent any information on the incident to students. DPS sent out their first alert at 6:50 p.m. to students saying that LAPD investigated the threat and no evidence of a threat was found. 

“This is a horrifying situation,” Sofia Acosta, a freshman biology and journalism double major said. “I find it actually scary how much we know what to do because it’s an active shooter . . . close the blinds, shut the lights off.”

One 911 call was made to the LAPD from a students mother who said the student was hiding under their bed as someone was yelling “active shooter” in the hallway of a dorm building in Founders Pavilion. No other calls were made to the LAPD. 

“If it was a real situation,” Jackie Morales, a freshman communication studies major said. “People had no idea what was going on.”

A sophomore pitcher on the baseball team admitted to yelling about a shooter in the freshman dorms on Friday night in a group chat with the baseball team, according a screenshot of what appears to be the baseball team’s group chat on GroupMe obtained by the Loyolan and multiple reports. On Friday night the Loyolan had unconfirmed reports from a group chat on Snapchat reporting that a student possibly on the baseball team ran into a room to scare students by yelling about an active shooter. 

A Loyolan editor on campus heard from multiple students on campus that it was a “prank” that involved students running through the dorms yelling “active shooter.”

Emily Rawson a junior who lives on campus, but not near the area on lockdown, said there was a lot of “confusion” on campus. 

“I didn’t start to feel a little scared until it sank in that I was walking around outside when I really shouldn’t have been,” said Rawson, who works as a Loyolan managing editor. “I don’t know what it would have been like for freshmen who were in the area.”

Students gathered outside the Public Safety Office at around 7:30 in protest of DPS’s handling of the situation. Some students spoke to the group on their grievances, Chief of DPS Hampton Cantrell was also present. A petition has been created to “point out that LMU students deserve access to information in a formal and immediate manner” and that LMU’s current alert system should to be reexamined in light of today’s events. 

Women are speaking, it’s time to listen

This article was previously published by the Loyolan in October 2018 and can be found here. 

The #MeToo movement has challenged our society over the past year to do better, and now it’s the U.S. Senate’s turn to be tested. Once again, a Supreme Court nominee has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women — yes, it’s happened before, and he’s still on the court — but will the Senate make that mistake again?

I, among millions, watched last week as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford showed nothing but strength, courage and intelligence as she explained in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the world her most vivid memories of a teenage Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulting her. The committee voted to confirm him 11 to 10 (Republicans to Democrats) the next day.

But we should all be relieved because the FBI is on the case *cue millions of women’s eyes rolling*.

If you thought this investigation was going to seek the whole truth, you’re sadly mistaken. If you’ve been following this story, you’re likely not surprised. It has been reported that the White House and Republican lawmakers have controlled what the FBI is able to investigate. In response to backlash, Trump recently said the FBI can speak with anyone Republican lawmakers deem acceptable. It seems that the White House’s goal is to minimize further “trauma” to Kavanaugh, as Trump described it, rather than seek a full understanding of events. Yesterday at a rally Trump mocked Ford’s allegations and said that these allegations have put Kavanaugh’s life in tatters and that we need to “think of our sons.” But when will we think of our daughters?  One in three women experience sexual violence in their lifetime, 1 in 4 before they are 18, reported by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

This may be traumatic for Kavanaugh — having your high school and college indiscretions made public doesn’t seem enjoyable. However, what the women allege he did to them has sat with them for over 30 years and, make no mistake, has changed their lives; it was traumatic and likely still is traumatic. He wants to be on the highest court in our country and he doesn’t deserve to be if he is capable of what is described. This is worsened by his inability to take responsibility for anything. My sympathy for Kavanaugh does not run deep.

I believe Ford. Could you imagine if someone who attacked you, hurt you and stripped you of ownership of your body was going to be among the most powerful people the country, making laws that would affect millions? I couldn’t, but I absolutely wouldn’t want them there.

As a woman and sexual assault survivor, this past month has been painful. It was painful to watch Dr. Ford testify; when she said she didn’t want to be there, that she was terrified, I understood. I, along with so many others, have stories just like hers, ones I kept to myself. And maybe that is why my blood has been boiling since these accusations came out. More likely, my anger is because Republicans (majority party in both the House and Senate) have chosen to disregard accusations made against Kavanaugh. Lindsey Graham, without definite and complete knowledge about Ford’s allegations, told Kavanaugh during his hearing that he had “nothing to apologize for.”

Brett Kavanaugh may very well have many things he should be sorry for. Christine Ford explained what he should be sorry for doing to her. But because he said it didn’t happen, when truly he may just not remember, the allegations from an intelligent, composed woman are not listened to. The press has reported many of Kavanaugh’s high school and college peers having noted his typical behavior back then to have been caused by alcohol-induced belligerence.

It’s important to note that the last time a Supreme Court nominee was accused of sexual misconduct, it was a black woman who stood up first and told the world what he did, that these weren’t the actions of someone who deserved to be on the court. We didn’t listen to Anita Hill and often continue to not listen to women of color, in this space.

As women, we have to make space for ourselves in all realms of life. Women need to demand and take power in the legislature, in C-suite jobs and on the courts. Until we do, nothing will change. A Virginia Tech study found that women in leadership help decrease political corruption. Most Americans see men and women as equally fit to hold political and business positions, but we’re still a minority in both.

The U.S. Congress is predominantly old, white and male. The annual demographic profile of Congress showed it to be 80 percent white, 80 percent male and averaging an age above 50. We have been electing, appointing and confirming straight white men since our country was founded and we’ve been expecting something to change.

But this is insanity. 

Republicans have worked to discredit Ford and other accusers. They are painting them as deeply confused, political pawns or just liars rather than some of the millions of women that have been assaulted in their lifetime. Ford has said her hope was not to make justice more aligned with her views, being a registered Democrat, but to get someone on the court that was qualified; the Republicans seem to have forgotten that. But they have tied their ship to Kavanaugh and if, or when, it comes out that he lied they will have to live with being on the wrong side of this.

We have seen a record number of women run for office, and we have the chance this November to get them in positions to make a change. We have silenced women for centuries, we have locked them out of positions of power and we haven’t listened to them in this country. I hope today we finally have a collective. Enough of making victims out to be liars, enough patting men on the back and promoting them to power when multiple people make allegations of harm against them. That “enough” should mean electing women, electing liberals, electing those who will search for the truth and electing people who have also had enough.

Students hold counter protest in response to anti-military protest held on campus

This article was previously published by the Los Angeles Loyolan in 2017 and can be found here. 

Photo by Emily Sullivan | Loyolan

LMU’s Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) club organized a counter-protest in response to an anti-ROTC protest held on campus by the Los Angeles Catholic Worker (LACW) last Thursday, Nov. 16. The Student Veterans Organization also protested in support of the military and ROTC.

The protest plans were first announced in an email addressed to the Padre Pio Society from Matt Harper, LMU alumnus and organizer for LACW on Nov. 9. In the email Harper said during the protest Los Angeles Catholic Worker “will be calling on President Snyder to support the ROTC students but end his support of U.S. war making.”

In response to the LACW protest, YAF planned a counter-protest in support of the ROTC program’s presence on campus. The counter-protest gathered at the University Hall flagpoles at 2 p.m. The LACW protest began at 2:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Chapel and later moved to U-Hall flagpoles, where both groups met and later gathered inside University Hall.

Matt Stirling, vice president of the Student Veterans Organization and senior communication studies major told the Loyolan he was participating in the counter protest to show his support for the ROTC program and the military. Stirling said he supported all people protesting on Thursday.

“I have friends that died for their right to protest,” Stirling said.

The LACW protesters demonstrated peacefully and prayed together outside of the ROTC offices, near the third floor escalators, before moving to fourth floor and gathering in front of the President’s Office. Pro-ROTC counter protesters remained silent for most of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker demonstrations and prayers.

Harper spoke to a representative from President Snyder’s office and publically offered, a gif, a cardboard sword, for President Snyder. Harper gave the sword and asked if Snyder would “lay down his arms” and reconsider support of the military.

Protestors from LACW held signs that included bible verses and the Ten Commandments. Some posters read, “Woe to hypocrites end ROTC” and “ROTC out of LMU.”

Alumna Susan Dietrich (’84) was among the LACW protesters demonstrating on Thursday. Dietrich told the Loyolan her primary reason for participating in the protest was because she did not believe ROTC belonged on a Catholic campus.

Pro-ROTC counter-protesters briefly engaged in conversation with other protesters throughout the course of the protest. Counter protesters held signs that said phrases such as “This Protest: Protected by the U.S. Military” and “Land of the free because of the brave.”

Harper said with the protest LACW aimed to engage students and express the belief that “Catholicism, justice, and a prioritization of the most marginalized are incompatible with war making.”

President of Young Americans for Freedom Adam Duarte, a junior economics major, said his organization supports ROTC and the military. Duarte also said YAF’s support of the military dates back to their pro-war activism during the Vietnam war.

The protest by LACW was just one of nine scheduled protests at Jesuit universities across the country, according to Harper. An eight person protest was held outside ROTC offices at Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska, according to the National Catholic Reporter (NCR). At the time of publication, there was no information available on other protests.

This Nov. 16 marked the 28th anniversary of the 1989 murders of six jesuits and two employees in El Salvador by Salvadoran soldiers, according to ABC News. According to Harper, the protest held on campus and others scheduled also aimed to honor the victims of the attack.

The day before the protest, Nov. 15, the United States Supreme Court denied the request to halt the extradition of a former Salvadoran colonel, to Spain to be charged in the 1989 killings, as reported by ABC News.

Campus celebrates life of Bianca Red Arrow

This article was previously published by the Los Angeles Loyolan in 2017 and can be found here. 

Photo and graphic by Kevin Chan | Loyolan

LMU student Bianca Red Arrow, sophomore political science major and member of Kappa Alpha Theta, was found dead at a Redondo Beach hotel on Monday, according Redondo Beach Police Department (RBPD). Red Arrow was from Mooresville, N.C., and was 19 years old.

The cause of Red Arrow’s death is still under investigation by the RBPD and the L.A. County Coroner’s Department, according to Sgt. Michael Martinez of RBPD.

Students, faculty and staff gathered Tuesday night for a vigil on the steps of Sacred Heart Chapel. Fr. Jim Erps, director of campus ministry, led the ceremony. In his opening remarks, Erps called for the vigil to be a celebration of Red Arrow’s life – a life he described to be filled with light and love.

“The vigil … is a tangible way for us to remember and celebrate her life,” Dean of Students Jeanne Ortiz said.

Candles and choir sheet music were passed out to the crowd gathered around the stairs of the chapel. The ceremony started with multiple rings of the tower bell. A group of students — led by Red Arrow’s Kappa Alpha Theta sisters — gathered closer to the steps, holding sunflowers to be placed within the chapel.

“When someone young is unexpectedly taken from us, we recall the people we take for granted in our lives,” Erps said, as he asked the gathered crowd to think of the last time they told their parents, friends and family that they loved them.

News of Red Arrow’s death has had a significant impact on her sorority sisters and those close to her.

“The women of Kappa Alpha Theta are dealing with a tremendous loss right now, and I think it is fair to say that their hearts are broken,” Director of Sorority & Fraternity Life Briana Maturi said in an email to the Loyolan.

Senior, dance major and Theta member Abby Miller was close with Red Arrow and remembers the excitement she felt after the two first met during sorority recruitment, as well as the bond they shared over their faith. Miller shared with the Loyolan that Red Arrow would uplift her and others daily with kind words and motivation. She remembers Red Arrow for her youthfulness, energy and the positive outlook on life that Red Arrow gave her.

“Bianca was such a ray of light in my life every single day,” Miller said. “I’ll see her in every sunny day.”

Kimberly Dobbs, junior environmental science major and Theta member, said that she felt lucky that Red Arrow joined her sorority, calling her “truly amazing and so special.”

“She had this infectious, vibrant beauty about her that radiated from inside out and made everyone around her feel warm,” Dobbs said.

Red Arrow lived on campus in McCarthy residence hall. Steve Nygaard, director of student housing, told the Loyolan that the housing office is providing students directly affected by Red Arrow’s death with resources during this time.

According to Maturi, Sorority & Fraternity Life will be providing students and members of the Sorority & Fraternity Life community with resources and will be creating spaces for students to come together and process the situation.

Suspect identified in reported sexual assault

This article was previously published by the Los Angeles Loyolan in 2016 and can be found here.

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) has publicly identified a suspect in the reported sexual assault that allegedly took place Sunday, Sept.18 after LMU’s annual Fallapalooza concert.

While Chief of Public Safety Hampton Cantrell would not confirm the identity of the suspect, multiple Loyolan sources have confirmed that he is Alex C. Berry, a non-student. According to a Facebook page belonging to Alex Berry, he attended the University of Leeds and currently lives in Texas. Berry has been banned from campus and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is continuing the investigation.

“This case, we have really handed the baton, if you will, to the LAPD so they have a criminal investigation,” Cantrell said. “We don’t want to say or do anything that may compromise what they are trying to do for the investigation.”

DPS released surveillance images of a person of interest in the case on Friday, Sept. 23, and investigators said they received a nearly immediate response from students. As of press time, no arrest had been made by the LAPD, which is still investigating in cooperation with DPS. The person of interest was later upgraded to a suspect after conferring with the victim and witnesses.

“We are really thanking students who may have seen things, who knew who he was or thought they knew who he was and provided that information to us,” Cantrell said. “It said a lot about our community, in that it really does take a community to create a safe environment.”

Lane Bove, senior vice president of Student Affairs, commended students on their efforts in identifying the suspect. 

“We have been committed to educating our students on the importance of stepping up and stepping in for others. In this instance, the LMU student body did exactly that,” Bove said. “They came forward with information immediately, and by doing so, made a statement that they will not tolerate misconduct on their campus.”

The Loyolan reached out to the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division, which investigates sexual assaults, on Monday, Sept. 26, and to the LAPD Media Relations Section on Tuesday, Sept. 27. As of press time, no responses were received.

It took approximately five days to release photos of the then person of interest. According to Cantrell, DPS needed to accurately identify the person of interest’s connection to the University and waited to avoid accidentally stigmatizing a falsely identified person of interest.

After the sexual assault was reported, DPS increased its campus patrols which will continue until further notice is given.

Dean of the Library Kristine R. Brancolini sent out a community email on Sept. 26, addressing safety concerns after the reported sexual assault.

“We remain committed to fostering an open and welcoming space where students are free to explore and collaborate on their intellectual pursuits and creative interests,” Brancolini said. “As we evaluate and improve the physical security of our facility, we seek to strike a balance between security and intellectual discoverability.”

The investigation is still ongoing.

“This is a criminal investigation. […] [My] urge for our community, just patience as this unfolds and being respectful of what our victim has gone through,” Cantrell said.

BREAKING: Alleged LGBTQ+ hate crime, during Rainbow Week

*This article was previously published by the Los Angeles Loyolan in 2016 and can be found  here.

UPDATED: Includes new information from LGBTSS Director Anthony Garrison-Engbrecht and clarification about the BIRT meeting addressed in the previous version of this article.

Three student workers from the LGBT Student Services office were engaged in a verbal altercation with an LMU employee from the Alumni Relations office between 9 a.m and 12 p.m. on Palm Walk near the Von der Ahe building on Thursday, April 14, according to a Gender-Sexuality Alliance press release.

Senior biology major Catalina Ibarra and senior business majors Kaii Blanton and Cosette Carleo noticed that signs put up for Rainbow Week, or LGBTQ+ Awareness Week, by LGBT Student Services (LGBTSS) had been removed and placed behind a garbage can, according to Carleo.

As Blaton, Carleo and Ibarra attempted to replace the signs, an employee from the Alumni Relations office, whose name has not yet been made available to the public, allegedly approached the students about LGBTQ+ issues and voiced opinions on differing sexualities, expressing that anti-LGBTQ+ signs should be put up in place of the students’ signs. The employee also referred to one of the students as a man, even though that student had informed the employee that they identify as gender neutral, according to Carleo.

As of Tuesday April 19, multiple attempts were made to contact the employee in question, through the Alumni Relations office, email, phone and a social media account appearing to belong to the employee. At the time of print production on Tuesday, no responses were received.

The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) met and released a statement on April 15, notifying the LMU community that BIRT, along with Public Safety and the Los Angeles Police Department, is looking into the events of April 14 as reported by the three students. BIRT also clarified that the investigation will continue as two separate incidents, the first being the removal of the LGBT signs and the second being the employee and students’ confrontation.

“The University stands behind its statement of non-discrimination, which prohibits unwelcome, harassing conduct on the basis of several classifications, including gender identity and sexual orientation.” said John Kiralla, the executive director of marketing and communications and BIRT member, on April 14, before BIRT had met.

ASLMU responded to the incident through social media, encouraging the LMU community to treat each other with respect. ASLMU is still looking into the events that took place last Thursday.

“I’ve really only experienced love and acceptance upon coming out to new people, but this lady told me that I was wrong and unnatural. That shook me to my core,” Carleo said.

Anthony Garrison-Engbrecht, director of leadership programs and LGBTSS, responded to the alleged events on April 14 via phone call.

We are going to do everything we can to investigate and respond appropriately to the actions. I feel whenever there is a trust broken by our community we have to try to restore that. Some of that is by dialogue and some of that is by healing.”

In the original statement given by the Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA), they claimed that LGBTSS was not funded by the University.

The GSA press release asserted that LMU has created an unsafe environment for LGBTQ+ and minority students.

LGBTSS and Carleo hosted a community discussion on Friday in the Bird’s Nest. The focus of the community gathering was on the issues LGBTQ+ students face in schools and how students felt about the reported incident the day before. They also began the early stages of planning for solidarity events in conjunction with other departments. LGBTSS held an academic dialogue on Monday with a workshop on harmful language.

Two upcoming events were planned in response to the incident. Students will be holding a silent protest on the UHall bridge Wednesday, April 20, at 11:45 a.m. LGBTSS and the Theology Department will also be hosting an interfaith panel discussion on the different religious views of the LGBTQ+ community and diversity on Friday. The time for the panel is to be determined.