Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Racist messages found on doors in Anderson and Letts Halls

HDP, Public Safety are conducting investigations of the incident

Racist messages found on doors in Anderson and Letts Halls

Update: Email says messages were written on three doors in two residence halls

According to an email sent to Letts and Anderson residents on Monday night, "racially derogatory language" was found on two doors in Anderson Hall and one door in Letts Hall on Sunday morning. 

"While this inflammatory language does not appear to be targeted at the occupants of those three rooms, we reaffirm that these acts are violations of university policy and are not representative of our community's inclusive values," Director of Residence Life Lisa Freeman told residents. 

A photo obtained by The Eagle showed the words “Trump n-----” written on a resident’s whiteboard in Letts 2 South. The messages written on the Anderson whiteboards are not known at this time. 

Freeman asked residents to contact a member of the residence hall staff or Public Safety if they had any information regarding the person or people responsible for the incidents. 

"It is our strong desire to identify the responsible individual(s). This is only possible if we all work together to report what we see, hear and experience," Freeman wrote. 

Original story: 

The words “Trump n-----” were found written on a resident’s whiteboard in Letts 2 South early Sunday morning, according to a photo obtained by The Eagle from a resident of the floor. 

The residents reported the incident to their Resident Assistant, who filed an Incident Report Form with Housing and Dining Programs and alerted Public Safety. 

Director of Residence Life Lisa Freeman received the incident report on Monday morning, she told The Eagle. 

Her team will be sending an email to all Letts Hall residents to inform them of the incident and provide a list of resources available to them, she said. That list will include resources such as Public Safety, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Counseling Center, the Wellness Center, the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Student Conduct and the Kay Spiritual Life Center, she said. 

“Housing and Dining Programs can’t prevent the acts of individuals, but we certainly want to create a community where students feel like they can hold each other accountable but also report anything that they feel is disrupting the community spaces that students occupy,” Freeman said.

The Letts Hall Community Directors will work directly with the RAs and the residents to answer questions and provide “an extra layer of support,” Freeman said. 

Public Safety is also currently investigating the incident, according to Director of Public Relations Kelly Alexander, who represents AU Public Safety in the media. 

“The results of the investigation will determine whether the incident will be treated as a crime or a case of student misconduct,” Kelly said. 

HDP and Public Safety will investigate the incident separately, Freeman said. She will continue to keep in touch with them as their investigation continues, she said. 

The incident follows a series of hateful incidents on campus, including both the Swastika drawn on a wall in Ward Circle Building and a visit by the Westboro Baptist Church on Nov. 11.

crozen@theeagleonline.com


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