Racially offensive vandalism found in Towers

A Hispanic Heritage Month board in Corinne Hall Towers was vandalized with racially offensive graffiti in late September.

The graffiti included the phrase “fuck spics” and a large drawing of a penis.

Benni Arias-Gonzalez, a Resident Assistant in the residence hall hosted two floor meetings addressing the vandalism. One was held soon after the incident, the other on Tuesday Nov. 11, though, as an RA, he was unable to comment on the topic.

President F. Javier Cevallos said, “He did quite a bit by educating people about it, so I think that he has to be proud of his work to bring awareness to the situation – to the people that were in his floor and his area that actually saw what happened.”

Kathy Martinez, director of FSU’s Multicultural Center, stated in an email to The Gatepost, “When our campus is not informed of acts of racism that occur at FSU and when our community does not formally speak out against these acts, I believe this silence in a way condones racism because it makes it seem as if these incidents never happened at all or that they are insignificant.”

Academic Diversity Fellow Patricia Sánchez-Connally stated in an email when someone in the community “is called a ‘spic’ or a ‘nigger,’ you should be outraged and help to convey the message … that the behavior is unacceptable and that there’s a zero tolerance for racist remarks.”

Dan Magazu, FSU’s Director of Communications said that a meeting was held on the floor on which the incident occurred. He added that there was a correspondence sent out to those on the floor. He said the correspondence “allows an opportunity to condemn such offensive behavior, reinforce desired community values, and to ask for the assistance of the community members who may have information.”

Magazu stated that both the Campus Police and the Office of Residence Life investigated the vandalism. They concluded that two people outside the FSU community who were signed in by a Towers resident committed it.

“FSU prides itself on being an inclusive, diverse and collaborative community,” Magazu stated in an email to The Gatepost. “Racism of any kind is not tolerated.”

Fernando Rodriguez, a junior sociology major, stated, “I think administration passes the buck a lot. So when you go to Res Life and ask them to deal with it, they’ll say, ‘Oh, you have to see the Dean of Students’ … and they’ll pass it along to someone else.

“Nobody can make an administrative effort to handle this,” said Rodriguez. “There are a lot of allies like the Multicultural Center, but other than that, I can’t really say that administration is doing their job.

“The administration did such a marvelous job of covering this up and putting the prestige of the school over the safety and well-being of the students,” he added.

“This is our home … and we’re made second priority.”

In regard to the racist graffiti, Mallory Fredricks, a sophomore, stated, “It is clearly happening in my dorm and I am not even aware of it – which is a problem.”

Other students have felt completely in the dark on the subject and have yet to receive any information. Samantha Sweeney, a freshman marketing major, said she doesn’t remember getting an email.

President Cevallos said, “Not every incident has to make it to the top of the newspaper. Not every incident has to go to the police … but all these incidents – regardless of magnitude – should be addressed.”

Some students have decided to speak out on the subject through a blog on Tumblr called “Framingham Speaks Up” in which students around campus are pictured holding up white boards with opinions written on them.