Students and officials are questioning the motives behind a recent vandalism on campus.
Black Student Association posters were torn in half Friday and left on the wall in Methodist Hall. One poster was ripped near the elevator, and one was torn down in front of the east entrance.
Michael Burns, director of housing and residence life, sent out an email Friday regarding the incident.
“Actions like this can cause students to feel unsafe and unwanted and move us away from respect, learning and inclusivity,” Burns wrote. “No one among us should feel marginalized or threatened by oppressive acts.”
Burns refused to comment further Monday.
Kevin Culbertson, head RA for Methodist Hall, said students are encouraged to reach out to their RAs, hall directors or the Housing and Residence Life Office. He also said university police were not able to identify any suspects from the dorm security video.
“I would hate to think that someone would do that intentionally,” Culbertson said.
Bradd Brown, chief of police, was unavailable for comment Monday.
Daniel Etti-Williams, acting junior, said he heard about the incident through the email and was upset.
“I think it’s one thing to tear a poster down, and it’s another thing to tear it in half and leave it up,” Etti-Williams said. “If we take it for what it is, it seems like someone doesn’t like the unification of black students.”
Etti-Williams is also a Methodist RA and a black student, though not part of BSA. He said he’s glad people are talking about it.
“I’m not surprised to see people defacing the halls and student organization posters, but it’s still disappointing,” he said. “They responded to it in the best ways they could.”
Ashleigh Robinson, musical theater junior and BSA member, said she was shocked when she read the email and hopes officials can do more to address racial issues on an administrative level.
“I don’t feel particularly threatened, but I do worry for the students who feel like it was an attack on them,” Robinson said. “It makes me sad that some students don’t feel welcome or safe at a university they’re spending so much money to go.”
She said she encourages students to feel empowered to talk about racial concerns and to be a listening ear to others.
“It’s better for someone to feel uncomfortable talking about something than for another person to feel uncomfortable living,” Robinson said.