A black student at Grand Valley State University returned to campus on Monday morning to find a threatening image in the dormitory. Authorities who are investigating the incident say the student found a racist threat on their dorm room’s message board.
The student found a message that was both threatening and racist sketched on the board, according to Dean of Students Bart Merkle. The sketch depicts someone being hanged and also espouses anti-Black History Month resentment using racial slurs.
“This is not something that we are used to having in our community,” Merkle said. ”That hate really has no place on a campus or any place.”
Local affiliate Fox 17 spoke to another student who confirmed that this isn’t the first time a black student has found racist threats written on their dorm room door’s message board. The student went so far as to tell Fox 17 that racist messages have forced her to remove her message board.
“I’m just disgusted by coming to my room and seeing the negative messages on the door,” she said. “I feel uncomfortable…what do people have against me here? I’m a freshman… why cant we just get along?”
Dean Merkle says the university is doing all it can to find the person responsible for racist messages.
“We have to first try to identify who’s responsible. If we believe this is intimidation and threatening, which I think a very good case could be made for that, then we might well choose to use our disciplines system in terms of reviewing and making some decisions. If we felt that it violated the law, our campus police would take it to the prosecutor and if it was deemed to be a potential violation of the law we would probably prosecute it.”