On the heels of several messages using racial slurs being found on its campus, students and faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University called for cultural unity Tuesday. It was part of the Unity Day event held on the lawn in front of the university library.
Student Emily Wolfe was glad to see representatives from Student Affairs promoting diversity and equality, giving T-shirts to her and anyone else who took a pledge to be more more inclusive of other cultures.
"We should all support each other and accept each other," Wolfe said.
In October, hateful messages like "Kill n-words" and "Noose-Tying 101" were found on dry-erase boards on campus. Then on March 15, a swastika was found, drawn in a men's restroom in Reed Hall.
"Those kind of disagreements and misunderstandings and confusion happen all the time on a college campus," said Mike Rollo, Vice-President of Student Affairs. "This committee is tasked with that all the time, to talk about ways in which we can learn from each other."
Student Megan Francis said she wants to focus on the positives of diversity, not the misunderstandings that lead to biased graffiti.
"I think there should always be concern for those matters, but it's up to us to really take it into our own hands and combat it with love and support for each other," Francis said.
Last week, FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw called the series of hateful graffiti messages "unacceptable." The university has not yet identified those responsible for creating them.