Updated 11/17/2011 06:59 PM
Racially offensive signs spark investigation at SUNY New Paltz
Signs posted around campus at SUNY New Paltz spark a police investigation and the creation of community forums. Our Beth Croughan has more.
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NEW PALTZ, N.Y. -- "It's blatant racism. And someone shouldn't have the audacity to actually put something up like that," said Ayanna Thomas, a senior and member of the Student Association at SUNY New Paltz.
Thomas was inside the Humanities Building last week when a friend shows her a sticker stuck above a water fountain. The words on it were ones suggesting racial segregation.
"We opened an investigation of course and unfortunately, we had other racially offensive writings show up in one of the residence halls on the campus," said University Police Chief David Dugatkin.
This time, it is hand-written on several pieces of paper. The word too offensive for TV.
The police chief said it's too soon to say if there is a connection, but said through interviews and the internet, they've made several leads.
"There is some students that, maybe one or two, but some students that actually feel that way," said Thomas.
She is pleased with how the University has handled the racist acts. The President of New Paltz sent two emails to the entire student body.
And although he was out of the office Thursday, his staff sent a statement. A school spokesperson said they "condemn the acts as contrary to the community values, hopes and aspirations." Adding, "the University will pursue appropriate judicial or legal action if responsibility is determined."
"Want to make a stand that we will not tolerate this at all. And secondly, I hope the campus will come together as a community and recognize that if it offends you, it should offend everyone," said Thomas.
The Student Association and Black Student Union organized a discussion Thursday night and on the 30th, a forum is being held on campus in response.