EDWARDSVILLE, IL - Instead of mid-terms and prepping for homecoming, racial and homophobic slurs are the talk around campus at SIUE.
“We do live in a very divisive time, but I don’t think it should be something happening here on a college campus,” student Ian Perkins said.
The heavy topic is taking center stage after multiple reports of inappropriate slurs being used on three separate occasions.
Two happening in the parking lot of Evergreen residence hall.
Campus police say in one instance someone used hair gel to doodle racial and homophobic slurs on a student’s car.
Then on the same parking lot, someone used a key to inscribe slurs on the hood of a student’s car.
Chief Kevin Schmoll believes those two may be connected and describes the third incident.
“Lot 12, it was a vehicle there that belonged to a student,” the chief said. “On his rear registration plates someone taped on a piece of paper and it had a racial slur on there.”
The re-emergence of racial tension comes just a little over a year after someone posted a racist note on an African American student’s apartment door.
Administrators offered a free semester’s tuition for information on the culprit behind the act.
For students like Cheniya Alston, it’s becoming an every year occurrence.
“Its kind of like you can feel the tension here a little sometimes,” Alston said. “I’ve never heard that like someone actually damaged property.”
In an effort to address the tension on campus, dialogues are scheduled with students and the Bias Incident Report Team.
However, some students feel the discussions may not reach their intended audience.
“You’ll only get the people who want to go,” Alston said. “You’re not going to get the people who are calling other’s out. You’re not going to get people who are damaging property you’re only going to get the people who feel this is a problem and I want to fix it.”
While inclusion actions are being taken, some students are aware their eyes will have to be more than in the books until tensions decrease.