Massachusetts university scrambles to deal with racial intimidation as students find shocking messages in dorms
Westfield State University in Massachusetts is investigating racial intimidation after a student reported finding a disturbing sign on her dorm room door.
A senior at Westfield State posted an image of the offensive signage on Twitter, tagging the university and President Ramon Torrecilha.
This is how your students of color get treated…. 3 days in a row of this. pic.twitter.com/QoGAqFiCcb
— Aubri (@sparky_33) September 19, 2017
In addition to the name card featuring the n-word, there were also racist and sexist messages posted.
— Black Aziz Ansari 👏 (@Freeyourmindkid) September 20, 2017
University President Torrecilha spoke directly with students living in New Hall about the “racist and sexist messages of harassment” posted in their dormitory.
“I let the residents of New Hall know that this type of behavior would not be tolerated on our campus,” President Torrecilha said in a statement. “I asked them to come forward with any information they may have regarding this incident.”
“As we conduct a thorough investigation of this hateful activity, please know that we have increased our security and have put our residence hall staff on alert to be vigilant,” President Torrecilha explained.
The victim described three days of harassment and others have come forward with their experiences at Westfield State.
“I hadn’t experienced blatant racism ever in my life until I went to WSU,” wrote one Twitter user.
“There are 5,000 undergraduate students at Westfield State. About 76 percent of all undergraduates on campus are white,” MassLive reported. “About 10 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino, about 5 percent identify as black and around 6 percent identify as two or more races.”
“At a time when enough hurtful and careless messaging is on full display in our nation and world, let’s take solace in our compassionate and thoughtful community at Westfield State and celebrate the many powerful issues and passions that unite us,” said Westfield President Torrecilha.
— Rach (@mENJIN_9) September 20, 2017
I'm gonna be at Westfield next week…they best deal with this shit quickly, or I'm gonna lead a search party for this asshole… https://t.co/G4UQbVvoyX
— Tim Wise (@timjacobwise) September 20, 2017
To all of my non-white friends on campus: I stand with you. I care about you. You deserve to be heard. You deserve respect.#OwlsFightBack
— Sandra Mercer (@Sandra_Mercer) September 20, 2017