Campus message from President Smith regarding racist message found in bathroom stall in Student Center

To students, faculty and staff:

This evening, a racist message targeting our Black community was discovered in a men's bathroom stall on the first floor of the Student Center. I strongly condemn these actions and want to reiterate that they run counter to the values and practices we so deeply embrace in our Eastern Michigan University community. Last year, it became absolutely clear how such hateful statements offend, intimidate and anger so many members of our EMU community, and we as a campus shared that pain as we confronted those acts. 

The hateful message in the stall has been quickly painted over by Physical Plant staff, and we are actively investigating the timeline of when it might have been written and reviewing other relevant details of the incident. I also want to stress that the investigation of last year's racist vandalism incidents actively continues and will do so until a resolution. Our Department of Public Safety has invested hundreds of hours in that effort, and it remains a top priority.

These are turbulent and disturbing times nationally, and such incidents are likely to continue. But I believe we can fight back, by finding unity and comfort in the shared purpose and diversity of our campus community. These are powerful strengths of Eastern Michigan, which we collectively try to demonstrate on a daily basis. One person or group writing on a wall cannot erase the sense of shared purpose and pride in our diverse community of more than 24,000 students, faculty and staff.

Most respectfully,
James M. Smith

September 27, 2017

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Contact:
Geoff Larcom
glarcom@emich.edu
734-417-9658