New racial bias incident reported on campus

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A three-word statement, scrawled in red ink on a bathroom stall of a DePauw University residence hall, is the latest racial bias incident reported on campus and the first this semester.

Ken Owen, DePauw spokesman and special adviser to the university president, confirmed that a student discovered the graffiti at about 7:30 p.m. Friday in a third-floor bathroom at Hogate Hall on South Locus Street.

The offending message read: "(N-word) gone home."

Owen said the message contains no language indicating anyone was being threatened, and consequently the university did not notify the campus about a racial slur.

"We're looking at camera footage," Owen told the Banner Graphic, noting that obviously no cameras can be installed in bathrooms, making identification of the perpetrator difficult.

University officials have met with the student directly affected by the incident and others, Owen said, particularly those residing in Hogate, and others indirectly affected by the incident.

While a DePauw Nature Park incident last spring in which rocks were used to spell out a racial slur was attributed to Greencastle juveniles, the Hogate incident is more likely to have involved DePauw students or staff than random individuals since access to the building is limited.

"It narrows the investigation," Owen agreed, noting that the perpetrator would need access or someone to give him access to the dormitory building

"It's very frustrating," Owen added. "Whoever is doing this clearly loves the attention."

In a campus email circulated Tuesday, Alan Hill, vice president of Academic Life at DePauw, assured that DePauw Police have taken the matter "very seriously."

However, some students and faculty have expressed dismay over a delay in letting them know about the incident. Previously, the campus community was informed about any bias incidents via email soon after they were discovered or took place.

The Hogate incident is the first report of racial graffiti this semester. Last spring there were multiple reports, including two other messages written in bathrooms -- one at the Inn at DePauw and another at a university building.

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    I have $5 that says it was a person of color that did it. (Hoax crime, not hate crime.)

    But at least the newly re-formed NAACP will now have something to rally about.

    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts on Tue, Jan 29, 2019, at 4:15 PM
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    Here we see a set of administrators practically calling upon the national guard to draw and quarter some unknown assailant responsible for scribbling bad words on a bathroom wall. Hey, we get it: "N-word bad." What new laws can we expect from this now? Have we ever seen such a time when bad words make it to newspaper publication? One would think this unreal but it makes sense once you realize what it really is...

    Whether you admit it or not, this noise isn't about officials having the best interests in mind for their primary customers as much as it is their laughable efforts to plug the hole they see leaking from their financial dam based on similar situations we've all seen taking place across the country. Today's wildfire of PR apocalypses we see through the likes of Twitter and Facebook (or news outlets in general) lend credence to this as they know that they'll see the same fate as so many others unless they somehow show the "loud crowds" how much effort they're putting into their sleuthing... "Justice must be served! It's time to embrace diversity, etc., etc., etc.," is the official message so many authorities now take, but behind closed doors, it's more along the lines of, "How will this impact our enrollment?"

    Sorry, but this isn't about racial bias prevention, pursuits of equality, or breeding solid standards for inclusion or any other jazz these people love to play notes to... Rather, it's about saving institution face and preventing losses of their return. It's today's newest economy, one devoid of accepting the horrors inherent in knowing that sometimes, people just say (and write) mean things and when these things happen, you should just ignore them.

    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Wed, Jan 30, 2019, at 1:20 PM
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