On Thursday of last week, a press release was sent out by the Seattle Central College President’s office condemning an instance of racist graffiti on campus. The graffiti was reportedly found in a women’s lavatory in the Fine Arts building, and was found by a student. The vandalism was a racist message encouraging violence against black students and individuals, and was reported to security, where “staff covered and removed it soon after.” SCC’s Communications Director Roberto Bonaccorso confirms that the vandalism was removed “within hours” of the report.
President Lange was adamant in her condemnation and resistance of the hate speech, saying “I am not intimidated and will not let you be intimidated.” The press release also stated that the administrations were determined to “address these intentions directly” by encouraging immediate reporting to campus security, student vigilance and added scrutiny around exits and entryways. “Be aware of those around you,” the press release states. President Lange also encouraged students to contact counselling services, should they be deeply affected by the incident.
Currently, security camera footage is being reviewed by staff and security alike in an effort to identify the perpetrator, though no suspect has been identified. “As of Friday, no possible perpetrator has been confirmed or identified,” states Bonaccorso.“When an incident like this happens, you really focus on what you can do better, and we are considering whether camera surveillance is enough or whether we need to do more.”
Security procedures in the Fine Arts building are also being reviewed. Admin has requested that students not let people they do not know into buildings, and stated that “when we move to the one-card system, building access will be further limited only to people authorized to be there during normal campus hours of operation.”
President Lange remains steadfast in her abboration of the act of hate speech on campus, and concluded the press release by urging students to contact campus security about vandalism, suspicious activity or harrasment. “Seattle Central College is committed to being a welcoming, inclusive, and safe place for our students, staff, and visitors,” she said. “Hate, in all its forms, is not welcome here.”
Campus security can be contacted at 206.934.5442, and Counselling services are available in BE 3166.