A student discovered racist, anti-Black graffiti in Gamble House early Thursday morning, according to an email sent out by the Office of Student Affairs.
There were several markings of racial slurs and hate speech targeting Black students. Campus Safety is currently investigating the incident to find the perpetrator(s).
“Goucher College strongly condemns all bigotry and racism, which are in complete opposition to our values and mission,” the Office of Student Affairs’ email stated, “This is our students’ home away from home. This is the ‘work’ home for hundreds of staff and faculty.”
Students are using social media to call on administration to take further action.
“The school continues to benefit from the backs of students of color for diversity points,” said Maryam Abdiruhman ’24 on their Instagram story, “What is Goucher doing to make us feel safe and ensure nothing like this happens again?”
The Goucher Black Student Union – Umoja (GBSU) released the following statement on their Instagram story:
“After hearing about the racism that boldly took place on Goucher’s campus we are not surprised but are very disappointed by the institution as a whole. They actively recruit Black and Brown people, yet do not provide resources and support for said people. We are aware that this is quite upsetting so our DM’s are open to anyone who needs support at this time.”
President Devereaux sent out an email Friday morning addressing a letter submitted by the Dancers of Color Coalition (DOCC) earlier this week, which alerted administration to ongoing racist language and behavior in the Dance department.
He emphasized that his administration is taking the DOCC letter “very seriously” as well as working to address “anti-Black attitudes and language across the College.”
There was no direct naming of yesterday’s hate crime. The college has yet to release an official statement on Instagram or other public platforms.
“There needs to be more visibility of Kent speaking to Black and Brown students directly,” Abdiruhman said, “The racial climate [at Goucher] is so f****** terrible… white students take up so much more space when it comes to conversations surrounding race… there is a tone of white fragility.”
Abdiruhman noted that these emails are only the first step of action, and called on administration to provide more mental and emotional health support from both faculty and administrators. They also expressed there should be spaces created for students of color to “express ourselves comfortably.”
SGA President Jeff Castro ’24 and Vice President Olivia Reichardt ’24 informed students in an email that they are in “constant communication” with officials to determine next steps and make sure “students are guaranteed a voice in these discussions.”
Students are also calling attention to GBSU’s list of demands submitted to the administration in June of 2020. Many of these demands, including more comprehensive policies around hate speech and Bias Education & Response Team (BERT) reports, have not been implemented or addressed.
The hate crime is not an isolated incident at Goucher. In 2018, a student was arrested for racist vandalism following the discovery of multiple hate symbols and speech targeting Black and Latino students.
There was also a fire in Heubeck at approximately 5:45 Thursday evening, according to messages sent out by the campus emergency text service. Students were not allowed reentry until nearly an hour after evacuation. At this time, it is unclear whether this fire is related to the hate crime and other instances of vandalism in Heubeck, which have been on the rise this semester.
Erik Thompson, Vice President for Campus Operations, said in an email Wednesday that “incidents of intentional damage to campus equipment and building systems have been increasing in frequency and severity over the last few weeks.”
These acts included someone intentionally tampering with the sprinkler system in Gamble, the same residence hall the racist vandalism was found in. Vending machines in Heubeck were also shattered last month.
If anyone has information on who is responsible, please contact Tiffany Justice, Director of Campus Safety, at Tiffany.Justice@goucher.edu or report anonymously using this form.
This is a developing story, and more information will be added to this article as it is available. Please keep checking back here or on our Instagram (@goucherquindecim) for updates.
Last updated December 17 at 3:24 PM.