Hate-filled racist messages posted in USC building on first day of spring semester
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Two offensive signs were found in the University of South Carolina's Gambrell Hall on Tuesday, and many students are upset about the message.
The signs contained racial slurs and were hung up on a board for the school's African American studies program.
The student who tweeted the picture noted that the signs were hung the day after the MLK holiday and that she does not feel safe. She also claims that similar signs have been posted for the past two semesters at the school.
USC officials responded to the tweet, stating that the messages do not reflect the school's values and that the issue is being investigated.
USC Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Associate Provost for Inclusion, John Dozier, later released an official statement that read:
"This morning, flyers bearing racist language were discovered in several buildings on campus. This is unacceptable and inconsistent with our institutional values. At UofSC, we strive to create a campus built on the tenets of the Carolinian Creed, inclusivity and respect for all. These racist messages run contrary to who we are as Gamecocks and have no place at Carolina. University officials are continuing to investigate the matter."
Another statement from the University on Tuesday describes a potential suspect.
"University officials are continuing to investigate the racist flyers found in two buildings on campus last night and this morning. Eyewitnesses observed a white male that appeared to be in his mid-40s in the area at the time the flyers were discovered. Video surveillance confirms that description and USCPD is working to identify the individual. Officials are not sure if he has any connection to the university.
"At UofSC, we strive to create a campus built on the tenets of the Carolinian Creed, inclusivity and respect for all. These racist messages run contrary to who we are as Gamecocks and have no place at Carolina."
The university also issued a letter on Wednesday, again reiterating that this is not reflective of the Carolina family.
"Unfortunately, our campus is not immune from the ills of society and we are not, nor can we be, completely insulated from the actions or influence of outside actors. Recent articles in the New York Times and Politico cite experts who are expecting an increase of incidents like this one on college campuses across the country in 2018.
"Therefore, we must be prepared. We must be prepared to combat hatred with love and respect; venomous rhetoric with civility and thoughtful debate; violence with a handshake or friendly embrace," the message read.
UofSC isn't the only SEC school battling a racist message. The University of Alabama recently expelled a student who went on a racist tirade that went viral on social media.
WIS will continue to update this story.
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