Butler University Investigating Offensive Whiteboard Message
Butler University officials are investigating an on-campus incident and holding discussions with staff and students after someone wrote the words “white power” with a marker on a dry-erase board over the weekend.
Students first came across the message, written on an erase board within a study lounge in the school’s Atherton Student Union building, on Saturday night. Afterwards, they informed university officials and began to circulate images of the message on social media.
“This is something that is directly in opposition to our core values of diversity and inclusion,” Frank E. Ross, the university’s vice president of student affairs, said. “We take this very seriously and we do not tolerate hate speech on our campus.”
The incident has shocked and angered many members of the Butler campus community.
“[The message] was like a random blow that I wasn’t expecting, but I’m not exactly surprised,” Abioudun Akinseye, a student at Butler, told 13 WTHR.
Akinseye said he thinks the hate message was in response to a message he wrote on the same whiteboard the week prior.
“In my original message I wrote, ‘as a black male in American society, I am irrelevant. My skin is my curse,'” he said.
The university’s Student Government Association has since denounced the incident and apologized to students who witnessed the hateful rhetoric scribbled on the board.
A statement from SGA regarding hateful rhetoric on campus: pic.twitter.com/vS83AyuQlB
— Butler SGA (@ButlerSGA) March 4, 2019
“It is immensely important to us, as your student leaders and classmates, that we speak out against hateful rhetoric, to assure students that what was written is unacceptable, and to stand in solidarity with those who were impacted,” SGA president Sam Varie said in a statement, co-signed by Alex Kassan, vice president for diversity and inclusion.
“It is critical that we denounce language like this, and that students feel comfortable reporting instances of bias and hate crimes when we see them.”