Racist graffiti in Oneida Hall raises concerns

"Inappropriate and child-like drawings covering the walls of the entire third floor of Oneida Hall were discovered by a Resident Assistant (R.A.) during a typical round of the floor on Sept. 17.

"The RA said the drawings included figures from "South Park" and "Hey Arnold!" It was discovered later that there were racial slurs written throughout the hall as well.

"The racial slurs have caused a lot of concern, and are being treated very seriously, said Peter Cavana, assistant hall director of Oneida Hall. Cavana said that racial graffiti is definitely an issue on campus.

"University Police Assistant Chief John Rossi noted that on the campus as a whole, cases like this are "infrequent, but it happens."

"The R.A. that found the graffiti said this was an uncommon occurrence, but R.A.’s have now been asked to keep doors open more frequently, be more tentative and make more rounds throughout the day and night as preventative measures.

""For whatever reason, incoming students seem to think there aren’t consequences, that they won’t be affected by such actions," Cavana said.

"This is not the case however, as Oneida Hall staff will continue to investigate and collaborate with U.P. on the situation and talk to residents of the hall about the incident to inform them of the severity of the action. Rossi said that in U.P.’s investigation, They will continue to investigate and interview any witnesses, or victims, for leads. Both the Oneida Hall staff and U.P. have urged anyone with information about this to contact them and expressed their commitment to honoring individuals confidentiality.

"The Oneida Hall staff has begun creating initiatives as a response to promote and educate on diversity, and is creating better networks of communication between students and staff.

"The cost for repainting the walls is estimated to cost several hundred dollars; the funds will come directly from the Oneida Hall Council.