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FGCU faculty calling for stricter stance on hate crime

Posted at 6:37 PM, Mar 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-23 06:52:37-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Florida Gulf Coast University President Wilson Bradshaw sent a letter to all students and faculty Wednesday after the fourth racially charged message was found on campus in the last six months.

University officials say an image of a swastika drawn with a pencil was found in the men’s restroom of Reed Hall on March 15th. At the top of the image, the f word and n word could be visible seen. Faculty members called it, “hate graffiti.”

“How can someone do that?,” said Patrick Clines, a junior at FGCU. “There are a lot of people who see that and feel insulted, like it’s a slap to the face,” Clines said.

This isn’t the first time hate speech has been discovered on campus.

In October, protests erupted after the words, “Kill (n-word),” was written on a dry erase board on campus. Next to those words was a drawing of a stick figure hanging from a tree. A few weeks later, a message reading, “Noose Tying 101,” was found on a dry erase board at the campus library. Then, in December, a flyer reading, “White Guilt: Free Yourself from Cultural Marxism,” was found attached to a lamppost outside of the library. 

“It’s unfair that someone’s speaking their negative opinion and raising a false representation of what this college stands for. It bothers me, I’m not going to lie,” said Eric Wollmann, a senior at FGCU.

A group of nine concerned faculty members wrote a letter to the university’s president last week saying they don’t think the school has a strong enough stance on hate crime and urged the administration to take, “immediate action.”

President Bradshaw responded Wednesday with a letter to all university students calling the recent wave of biased-based incidents, “unacceptable.”

Now, students are calling for more to be done to stop the trend.

“I hope the faculty find out and can actually put a stop to this,” Clines said.

“I think people should be more careful about things they do and be respectful with everybody,”said Felipe Ramirez, a freshman at FGCU.

As of Wednesday, FGCU has not identified the person or persons responsible for the past incidents. If you have any information on who is responsible, you are urged to report it. Meanwhile, President Bradshaw is encouraging students and faculty to be more inclusive and respectful.