RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — University of Richmond police said they are investigating three incidents of racism that happened on their campus late last week. Students held a protest during Saturday night’s soldout basketball game against Dayton at the Robbin’s Center.
UR Freshman Class President, Gabrielle Armon-Wickers told 8News she woke up Friday morning to the n-word written on her nametag outside her dorm room door. Two other students reportedly received racial slurs on their nametags, one message read “Terry=/president,” meaning ‘terrorist does not equal president.’ While the other student’s name tag said “Paki” on it.
“It’s disgusting that we have people on this campus who really don’t want us here,” Armon-Wickers said.
In an email addressed to students and staff, UR President Ronald A. Crutcher condemned the incidents calling them, ‘cowardly’ and ‘racist.’
The fact that this occurred on our campus the very week we commemorate the birth and historical legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes this all the more disgusting. I say this both as president of the University of Richmond and an African American.”UR President Ronald A. Crutcher
“Paki” was written on sophomore Maha Hassan’s dorm room door.
“I was disappointed but I wasn’t surprised,” she told 8News. “An ethnic slur written written about the fact that I was from Pakistan and I sort of just like fell to the floor in absolute disgust.”
University of Richmond student Ahmed Almagger was targeted too. He’s running for class chair and found what appears to mean “terrorist does not equal president” on his door.
“The hate that comes with it, I’ve never experienced that type of hate,” Almagger said. “It hit deep at home because I’m middle eastern, and [there are] all of these stereotypes behind my culture and religion. It got me.”
Campus police said two incidents happened at Marsh Hall. Police. URPD said they would be increasing their presence at the residence hall in order to deter students from committing ‘these types of incidents in which a hate crime can occur when certain criminal offenses.’
At this time, URPD has been made aware of three incidents in which there has been a vandalism of student nametags with possible intimidation with a racial and national origin bias in our residence halls.”UR Police
“This incident reminds us anew that racism remains a pernicious force in our society and on our campus,” UR President Crutcher said.
Students wore all black clothing and held signs that read “#STOPURACISM,” “No room for HATE” and “An attack on one is an attack on ALL” during Saturday’s basketball game against Dayton. Video shows some of those students chanting “we want justice” while in the stands.
“Peaceful protests are really powerful and I think what they did was really strong,” Spiders player Nick Sherod told 8News after the protest.
The students say the culture must change on campus.
“I don’t think the conversation is going to be helpful unless we’re all involved in it. It can’t just be a minority group sitting there when no one else is listening to them except each other,” Hassan said.
Anyone with information on the incidents can contact URPD by sending an anonymous tip on LiveSafe or Silent Witness. You can also call URPD 289-8715 and let the Communications Officer know you do not wish to be identified and provide any information.