MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Students at Spring Hill College were devastated to find offensive language written on the outside of New Hall, a dorm building.
According to students and staff, the message contained the f-word and the n-word, and it was discovered Wednesday morning around 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. After finding the vandalism, many took to social media to express that Spring Hill will not tolerate such hateful language.
Students and staff gathered in front of Saint Joseph Chapel where they held a “black-out” protest. Many students, mainly minorities, shared their experiences on campus in front of everyone during the protest.
Vaughn Terrell, a senior at Spring Hill expressed to the crowd that he hasn’t had the best experience at the school.
“I won’t lie to you and say as a black man I feel safe here because I haven’t,” said Terrell. “All four years. No. This incident wasn’t the first incident and it won’t be the last. However, as a culture, we need to change.”
Students such as Karen Lorenzo-Silverio shared her experience about being a Hispanic woman in a city where the Hispanic population is not very high. She discussed a situation she had with one of her professors.
“She told me that my education was not worth it because my family did not understand the language,” said Lorenzo-Silverio. “She told me to drop out and go back and help my family because that’s all I could do, and that’s not something that should be done.”
The students who organized the event said they are very happy with the turnout and that it was nice to see how everyone came together to stand against racism.
“It’s something that definitely can’t just be swept under the rug,” said Zykeria Leverett, a freshman attending Spring Hill.
Terrell was one of the students who also helped organize the protest, and he said people need to have a tough conversation about race in order for anything to get better.
“Even as students, we have to hold our fellow students accountable too always,” said Terrell. “This incident was just a buildup, this has been going on and we sad to say a lot of us can become numb to it, a lot of us had a shock to it before the most was actually hit.”
Students are hopeful that the school will take the appropriate action and hope those who vandalized the building face consequences.
“Only time will tell. Actions speak louder than words,” said Erthaly Thomas, an RA at Spring Hill College. “We have so many people out here, but it takes the actual action in seeing it, but being hopeful is where we at right now.”
“I hope going forward is that we seriously listen to these demands,” said Kira Babiarz, a student. “And we actually see some action moving forward.”
Students wrote messages in chalk on the ground where the protests were held such as “BADGERS AGAINST HATE. WE ARE ONE SPRING HILL.”
Kevin Abel, the Vice President of Student Affairs said they are still investigating to find out who left the racist message. Once they find out who did it, they will face consequences in accordance with their Code of Conduct.