Student finds racist note in her backpack while studying at the Ayala Science Library. UCI PD is investigating the incident.
A freshman student found a note in her backpack that read “Go back 2 Africa slave” while she was studying at the Ayala Science Library on Tuesday of last week. The note, which is being investigated by the campus police department, came just one week after the Black Student Union’s protest in response to the Lambda Theta Delta blackface video and other instances of racism on campus. Investigators are currently unsure whether this note has any relation to the blackface incident.
The student who received the note is a freshmen athlete and member of the Black Student Union, and she was allegedly called the N word earlier last week. Her mother originally voiced her concern in an interview with San Diego’s ABC 10 news station, fearing for her daughter’s safety and well-being.
“If they were brave enough to put that note there, who knows what extent they’ll go to next time,” the student’s mother said.
According to Vice Chancellor Parham, the student’s safety and continued development of cultural awareness programs are among the administration’s current priorities.
This controversial act is currently being referred to as a “hate incident” until further notice, which will deem it a “hate crime” warranting criminal prosecution.
“If it’s a criminal matter then it would go to the courts,” UC Irvine Police Department’s Sgt. Mark Arnold said. “If it were an internal discipline issue, the university would handle that.”
Some students have expressed concern over the possibility of administration handling the disciplinary process, considering the lack of harsh punishment against the individuals in the blackface video. Since there is still no suspect associated with the note, it has been difficult for campus administration and the police department to determine what needs to be done about the situation.
Given the recent race issues and insensitive acts, the administration has launched a website and series of programs to promote cultural awareness and sensitivity toward racialism and race-related issues. However, some students are concerned that these steps may be insufficient in curbing the prevalence of racism currently happening on campus.
After the LTD scandal, students of the black community brought to light previous racist acts on this campus and called for action and awareness on anti-blackness. Following the Black Student Union’s protest and a public outcry, LTD decided to suspend their fraternity as a recognized organization on campus for a year.
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