ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Students at Webster University are shocked after fliers with racist and homophobic messages were found strewn outside a dorm room of an African-American student.
“This is just a really welcoming place and when I came here, I didn't expect this at all,” said freshman Blake Ferrell.
“It was kind of baffling that here at Webster we'd experience something like that,” student Luke Hart said.
The University’s Dean of Students Office and Department of Public Safety have launched an investigation.
According to a statement Webster released, a custodian found the fliers early on Wednesday morning before classes started. The custodian immediately gathered the fliers and reported them to the university's dean of students and department of public safety.
“Diversity and inclusion are among the core values of Webster University. With a long history of reaching out to under-served and under-represented communities, Webster University has established scholarships, held community conferences, hosted numerous guest lecturers, and encouraged students, faculty and staff to discuss and act on these values,” said Nicole Roach, Associate Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement. “When we learn that a member of our community may have violated these values, it strikes us at our core.”
Some students question the intent.
“It starts with fliers, but does it escalate from there, does it turn into verbally harassing me, does it turn into physically assaulting me, I don't know; where does it go from here?” student Tanner Craft said.
If the investigation reveals that a student is responsible for the fliers, that student could face a judicial affairs hearing. Employees are reviewing guest logs and security cameras from the residential hall to find the person responsible.
Webster officials have several meetings planned for the week for all on-campus residents to attend, to reiterate the University’s commitment to inclusive excellence and diversity.