By CHANEL STITT, Guest Writer
Three University of Michigan-Ann Arbor students of color living in West Quad Residence Hall woke up the day of September 17 to racial slurs written outside of their dorm doors.
Not only did this incident cause a distraction from academics and make students at the campus feel uneasy, but a trail of events followed.
Lorna Brown, a freshman that lives in West Quad, now feels that she has to be concerned about not only her safety, but those around her on campus.
“The program that I am in, Michigan Community Scholars Program, focuses on social justice and equality for all people, and the people who defaced these doors knew this,” said Brown. “This person committed their act with the full intent of causing outrage and fear, and that is exactly what they succeeded in doing.”
A Black Lives Matter protest was held in Ann Arbor on Sept. 20 to speak against racism and discrimination in and outside of campus.
A common answer from the students who attended this protest is that they feel as though the president and administration are not doing much to get discrimination to stop among the students.
“We felt that something other than the apology emails were needed,” said Maia Morgan, a junior at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. “It was just to get the president to come out and be aware of our concerns and hear what we feel needs to be done.”
In the middle of the protest, a fight broke out between a protester and a man of the opposing side of the Black Lives Matter movement. Students proceeded to protest afterward, determined to get answers from the University to help avoid these types of confrontations.
“Administration could take action against those who think it’s okay to discriminate someone because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.,” said Asia Woods, a sophomore at U of M – Ann Arbor. “I think if the university showed that they were serious in reprimanding those who discriminate, then there could be fewer incidents.
Five days later, student Dana Greene took a knee in the Diag that lasted into September 26 for students to know that they were not alone on the campus and that no one should ever feel out of place at the school.
The day after Greene’s protest ended, students wrote Black Lives Matter written in chalk on the sidewalk, continuing to let their message be heard. On the day of September 27, a video surfaced on the internet of a man urinating on the students’ message. According to MLive, this is currently under investigation by the police.
Just 6.2 miles away from U of M – Ann Arbor, Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti has been experiencing similar situations targeting African Americans. Racial slurs were found written in one of the Student Center’s bathrooms on September 27.
This is not the first time that there has been racial messages going between these two campuses. Over the past two years, there has been several protests allowing people to speak their minds on these issues. It has become obvious that the tension on both campuses is high right now because of these incidents.
“There is still so much progress to be made in this country when it comes to social equality, and I am reminded of that every time something like this happens,” said Brown.