CW/TW: This article features content regarding racism and racial slurs, including images of racist graffiti targeting Black students. While all profanities, including slurs, are censored, readers’ discretion is advised.
Multiple anti-Black racist acts have occurred on and near Albion College’s campus in the past two weeks, including multiple marks of graffiti in the Mitchell Towers and Wesley Hall residence halls.
This string of acts began late on March 26. According to an email sent by Kenneth Snyder, associate dean of students and director of Campus Safety, a Black student was driving near campus at around 9:40 p.m. when an individual spit on his car.
“The student drove into the lot behind the library, and shortly after they parked someone began banging on their car,” said Snyder in the email. “The student described seeing a skinny white male, approximately 5’11” with white facial hair stubble, approximately 70-75 years old. This individual screamed and swore at the student, calling them the ‘n’ word and making other racist comments toward them.”
The case remains in the hands of the Albion Department of Public Safety. Since the incident, an investigation was launched and a person of interest was identified. The investigation is still ongoing.
In the early hours of March 27, a Residential Assistant in Wesley Hall woke up to find the words “fat n—–” written on the whiteboard on their door. A report was submitted to the Bias Response Team, a coalition of four representatives tasked with addressing individual instances of bias on or off campus.
“The bias reporting process is a new process and tool. It provides an opportunity for reports to be submitted and alert a team,” said Keena Williams, chief belonging officer and Title IX coordinator. “It also provides an opportunity to track what kinds of reports go in so that as an institution we can make a decision as to what things we need to address. It allows us to do that level of work while also responding to the immediate needs that are present on campus.”
The team was also alerted to a set of racist graffiti marks written in Mitchell Towers on March 28.
While the two previous incidents of racism elicited an email from the college, the incident on March 28 did not. This was done purposefully, according to Williams.
“What was sent out to students was in response to what happened in Wesley,” said Williams. “Over Sunday we had a number of reports of similar incidents that occurred in Mitchell Towers. We chose to not send out another campus response because we did not want to create a situation where things were happening to elicit more responses.”
These events were followed by more racist graffiti in the stairwell of Mitchell Towers on April 2. The graffiti included the phrases “KKK,” “KKK White Power,” “Albion is racist we do exist KKK” and “Die N—— Please!” as well as a six pointed star, most notably known as the Jewish Star of David, with the numbers “666” written inside.
Following the discovery of this graffiti, Williams and Snyder released an email on April 2 with the promised reward of $1000 for any information that leads to the identification of the individuals responsible.
Also in the email, Williams and Snyder revealed “the College will seek criminal charges against those involved, and if they are students they will be immediately suspended.”
Following these incidents, Campus Safety began increased patrols and walkthroughs of Wesley and Mitchell Towers, according to an email sent earlier by Williams on April 2. Floor and hall meetings were also held in Wesley and Mitchell Towers addressing the graffiti.
“Additional opportunities for dialogue and support are being planned,” said the email sent by Williams on April 2. “More information will be shared with our residential communities next week.”
Anyone with information about these incidents is encouraged to contact Albion College Campus Safety (firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-629-1234) or the Albion Department of Public Safety (517-629-3933) to make a report.