The University of Richmond has become the latest institution of education that has faced backlash for a racist atmosphere. According to WRIC, police say they’re investigating three incidents that occurred on campus late last week.
The university’s freshman class president, Gabriella Armon-Wickers said she awakened Friday morning to find the N-word written on her name tag outside her dorm room door. Meanwhile, two other students reportedly had racial slurs on their name tags, one with the message “Terry=/president,” or in other words, “terrorists does not equal president.” The other student’s name tag had the derogatory “Paki” written on it. The campus police said two of the incidents occurred at Marsh Hall whereas the third incident hasn’t been tied to a location yet. They said they would be increasing their presence at Marsh Hall to deter students from committing “these types of incidents in which a hate crime can occur when certain criminal offenses.”
The University of Richmond president, Ronald A. Crutcher, also addressed students in an email, calling the incidents “cowardly” and “racist.”
“The fact that this occurred on our campus the very week we commemorate the birth and historical legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes this all the more disgusting,” said Crutcher who is Black. “I say this both as president of the University of Richmond and an African American.”
He continued, “This incident reminds us anew that racism remains a pernicious force in our society and on our campus.”
This response didn’t seem to be enough for some students, however, because they protested on Saturday at a University of Richmond basketball game at the Robbins Center.
According to the university newspaper, The Collegian, students who participated in the demonstration dressed in all black, holding signs that read, “No room for hate” and “Make racism wrong again.” After the halftime performance of the game, the protestors rose from their seats and chanted, “We want justice” multiple times and then they exited the arena.
Armon-Wickers helped organize the protest and she told The Collegian, “[The protest is] just to show how we are all hurt by this, and not just the individual victims of these … racist crimes,” she said. “And on top of that, to show the public that University of Richmond is not a perfect place for people of color.”
Nick Sherod, the Junior Forward for the university basketball team the Richmond Spiders also weighed in on the incident, explaining, “I think people want to sometimes silence people, they don’t really want to get that involved in the game.”
“I think that what happened is unacceptable, and I don’t think that can happen,” he continued when talking about the racist incidents. “I think that sometimes people have to know what’s going on on campus. This is just a game, we move on. Whoever’s door that got written on, that’s going to have to be with them for the rest of their life.”