Massachusetts university investigates racial slur in dorm

November 23, 2021 GMT

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts university is investigating a racial slur targeting Black students that was written on the window of a dormitory common space last week, but some students of color say the school’s response has been inadequate.

The slur was found at Worcester State University last Wednesday and reported to campus police, the school said in a statement Friday.

It has since been erased.

The investigation into who wrote the slur remains ongoing, a university spokesperson said Tuesday.

“Worcester State condemns all forms of hatred, offensive language, symbols, or artifacts that disparage or otherwise target an individual, protected group, or diverse segment of our population,” the university’s statement said. “Worcester State is committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive learning environment where all students, faculty, and staff — regardless of background — can thrive.”


University President Barry Maloney, in a separate statement to the campus community Monday, reiterated that the school is committed to inclusivity.

“In the context of continuing national turmoil over racially motivated actions, I wanted to remind the community of our commitment to an inclusive campus climate and to equity — values that are part of our very foundation, that are reflected in our strategic plan, and that we celebrated at our Unity Walk last September,” Maloney said.

Some students of color said the school has not done enough.

“They don’t do anything. They issue an email to support us. That’s it,” Zaria McClendon, 20, told The Telegram & Gazette.

McLendon said there have been other racial incidents on campus and the latest makes her feel like an “outsider.”

Davante Pinckney, 22, said the school’s statement seemed like a copy and paste of an earlier statement.

Pinckney said he would like to see school officials do more, for example, by holding a town hall meeting so students can air their concerns to leadership.

Of the school’s 4,648 degree-seeking undergraduate students in the fall of 2020, 386, or about 7%, were Black or African American, according to a university report.