University of Memphis officials condemned the vandalism of a student-athlete’s vehicle as an act of "racism, bigotry and hate speech" Monday night through an email addressed to the entire campus community.

The email, signed by U of M President M. David Rudd and Provost Karen Weddle-West, said university officials reached out to the family and friends of the athlete and have yet not been able to identify a suspect. 

 "We will continue to investigate the incident and will respond accordingly. Racism, bigotry and hate speech, in any form or fashion, will not be tolerated on our campus,” the email stated.

 The athlete found her car keyed and a racist note left on the windshield Sept. 23. She reported the incident to campus police.

  The email said that while a university should promote free speech, it must not tolerate racism or attempts to silence speech. 

 "A vibrant university community embraces this reality. It does not seek to silence debate and discussion; rather, it encourages and nurtures it," the email stated. "Similarly though, a vibrant university community does not tolerate racism, bigotry and hate speech meant to demean, humiliate and degrade. This most recent incident was intended to do just that."

 The university email also said there will be a campus town hall meeting Oct. 13 at 3 p.m. in the University Center Theatre.

 The email also alluded to a campus-wide "Critical Conversation," where this issue will be further discussed, though the location and dates are not yet known.

Contact this reporter at jonathancapriel@gmail.com or at his Twitter @jonathancapriel 

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