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SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. (KDKA) – Many students at Slippery Rock University are sad and outraged after finding Black History Month fliers on campus defaced with messages of racism and hate.
The students KDKA’s Pam Surano spoke to today are taking the words of the university president to heart.
In a letter to the University after seeing the defamed Black History Month fliers, he quotes author Edmond Burke saying, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.”
Now, students and the university want to do something.
“They’re saying 52-percent of all abortions are black babies, it was just crazy, just everything disrespectful toward Black History Month,” said Slippery Rock student Xavier Brown.
Slippery Rock Junior Xavier Brown is talking about the defaced fliers sent to him on social media found on Slippery Rock University’s campus at Rhoads Hall.
The flyer was advertising celebratory University Run programming on campus in February when they were defamed with words of racism and hate. Xavier and friends spoke out today about their feelings of hurt and disappointment.
“Every semester, like multiple times a semester, I’ll experience some sort of discrimination or racism towards me. Either because I’m black or because my name’s Mohamed,” said student Mohamed Manfoud.
Slippery Rock student Austin Freeman says that there is racism on campus and students just want it out of their community.
“There’s racism here and we just want it to stop and we realize it’s not going to stop, but we just want to feel respected here,” said Freeman.
One student says that they only want one thing from other members of the Slippery Rock community: “equal respect.”
“I’m not white or black myself but I feel like I still stand for something in this community and that is equal respect,” Duy Nguyen.
Slippery Rock University’s President stands with the students and has sent out a strongly worded letter saying the “behavior has no place at Slippery Rock” and they will do all they can to “identify and take appropriate disciplinary sanctions.”
“First is oh my how are we going to help our students, particularly our students of color who are struggling at this point,” said Bill Behre, President of Slippery Rock University.
The second plan of action on the part of the university president is to use the messages of hate as a catalyst for change.
A community discussion will be held on campus for students and University leaders on Feb. 18th in the Smith Student Center Theatre at 8 p.m.