Reporting Meghan McCorkell
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ)– Vandals strike Maryland’s largest college campus and their messages of hate and bias are alarming. Now, campus police are searching for those responsible.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the investigation.
Campus police say there were two separate incidents of bias or hate that have happened in the past few days. Now, they are trying to hunt down who’s responsible.
Words of hate scrawled were inside an elevator in the Biology-Psychology Building on the College Park campus.
“That’s really scary and it’s really unexpected too,” one student said.
“To see something like that happen, it’s kind of shocking,” Shanna Raphael, a University of Maryland freshman, said.
The anti-Semitic slurs are especially upsetting for some.
“It’s really disheartening to know that people will dedicate their energy to just hate– on not even a specific person– just a general group of people,” Greg Gilston, a sophomore, said.
Days before, inside a construction area, a facilities supervisor found a noose. Campus police are looking into the incidents.
“In both cases, they are actively following several leads, interviewing whoever might have some information on it,” Brian Ullman, a spokesperson for the university, said.
Investigators hope footage from campus surveillance cameras could provide some clues.
In an email to students, the university president says: “These incidents are abhorrent. The University of Maryland does not tolerate hate or bias in any form.”
The school is now looking into holding diversity forums.
“We have a very strong commitment to diversity and we really see diversity as central to our excellence,” Kuamea Shorter-Gooden, the chief diversity officer at the University of Maryland, said.
It’s a feeling echoed by students.
“I’ve got friends of all different races and ethnic backgrounds, especially Maryland is a very multi-cultural school,” Dylan Lease, a sophomore, said.
“That goes against what Maryland stands for. We’re all about diversity and just welcome everyone,” junior Kristin Corman said.
The number of hate incidents has actually been going down over the years at the university. But officials say just one incident is too many.
If students are found guilty in either incident, they could face criminal charges and discipline from the university.