Drake University President Marty Martin is asking his students for information that could help catch the person or people who wrote “the most offensive of racial epithets” on the whiteboard attached to a Black student’s dorm room and carved a swastika into the campus elevator last weekend, The Des Moines Register reports.
After the racist messages were reported, Martin sent an email to the student body. The Black student is a freshman, less than a month into the semester.
While the swastika and epithet have both been removed, the assailant or assailant hasn’t come forward. Martin called the actions “cowardly” and encourages students to report any information to “residential life or student life professional, or some other university colleague who will ensure that the information gets to the right place.” No official has reported a lead so far.
This incident flies in the face of Drake’s diversity and inclusion statement, which reads in part: “Drake University values diversity as an institutional strength that encompasses a broad range of human differences. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion acknowledges the role Drake University can play in redressing historic injustices that result in continued marginalization of members of specific groups, and seeks to understand and respond to contemporary calls for inclusivity as necessitated by social justice.”
The incident isn’t the first at the sprawling Des Moines, Iowa, campus. Rai Ahmed-Green, the senior president of the Coalition of Black Students, told KCCI 8that because of past incidents, she was both prepared and saddened by the most recent hate speech. “In a way, we’ve had practice with this, so it was a moment of disappointment,” she told the television news outlet.