Racial vandalism discussed by BUS

Christina Stavale

A racial slur spray-painted on a university sign sparked discussion at the Black United Students’ meeting last night.

This weekend, someone painted the n-word on a university sign. The sign was covered and removed after a student alerted the administration, and yesterday President Lester Lefton told students of this incident in the form of e-mail.

“This kind of action is antithetical to the ideals of Kent State University,” he wrote. “An act such as this stifles the realization of our goals, is personally offensive to me and others in our community, and will not be tolerated.”

After BUS President Sasha Parker told members about the incident, they voiced their opinions at once.

Junior psychology major Kaisha Sherrills said someone probably committed the vandalism to “get a rise” out of the black community. She said ignoring others’ ignorance and not starting a commotion may be the best route to approach.

“We should react, but be mindful to how we react,” Sherrills said. “We should be proactive, not reactive.”

She said it is important for the administration to publicly address what will happen to students who are caught committing such acts. In his e-mail, Lefton said those who commit these offenses will be prosecuted by law and be subject to discipline by the university if they are a student.

Darius Peterson, an electronic media production graduate student, said the first step for students in handling an incident such as this should be to check themselves and their own use of the n-word.

Parker said she was pleased with some aspects of how the university handled the situation.

“I’m happy with how they took down the sign, but I’m not happy that they swept it under a rug,” she said.

The university should have alerted BUS about the situation, she said, as the group found out about the situation through other sources.

It raises the issue that some people do not want minorities on campus, she said. By the group’s next meeting, the board will construct a “ten point plan,” which will outline courses of action for different levels of racism on campus.

During the meeting, Parker also announced the group’s comedy show, which will take place Oct. 5 in the Student Center Ballroom. Tickets will be $5 for students and $10 for the general public and are on sale now at the MACC. The comedians, she said, have been seen on “Comic View” and “Last Comic Standing.”

Contact minority affairs reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].