Racial Slur, Anti-Gay Brochures Investigations Still Ongoing

Kristina Vakhman and Sarah Willson

The investigations into last Sunday’s racist graffiti targeting African-Americans and the brochures promoting conversion therapy found two weeks ago in a LGBTQ classroom are still ongoing, according to Central Connecticut Media Relations Officer Janice Palmer.

“[CCSU PD is] still, as far as I know, which was late on Friday night, they were still looking at cameras trying to find evidence,” Palmer said on the racist graffiti.

She added that the investigation into the brochures is “still underway” and that the police is following up on “some information” she could not share. 

A student found the two anti-gay brochures in LGBT Center Director Dr. William Mann’s classroom. They were pinned on top of posters promoting the LGBT Center’s “Open Mic Night,” according to Dr. Michael Jasek, vice president for the Office of Student Affairs.

“I was angry. I was really pretty angry and a bit shocked,” CCSU sophomore Anastasia Marco said. “I would like to see whoever did this brought to whatever punishment that can be given.”

Jasek said that any students involved in either the brochures or racist graffiti would be “charged with violations of the Student Code of Conduct” and commented at the Student Government Association’s meeting last week that expulsion would not be ruled out as a punishment.

With the racist graffiti, police are looking into footage from cameras in the affected areas of the Student Center and the Welte Garage, Palmer stated, but explained that “the cameras in that particular area don’t show every single angle” because they are “pointed in certain directions.”

“We don’t have any specific photos right now or video evidence,” she said.

Palmer furthered that there is “no official timeline” to both of the investigations “other than it’s a priority [to identify who’s responsible and hold them accountable].”

“This is a frustrating time. They have to spend a lot of time following up on leads so it’s frustrating time-wise ’cause we all want something to happen quickly. They’re trying to get that,” Palmer said.

And students want action. At the SGA’s meeting April 10, Jasek asked senators what they wanted Student Affairs to do to promote diversity and unity. Ideas varied from letting students writing “beautiful things” with chalk on the campus’ walkways to painting a mural over where the racial slur had been spray painted on the Student Center.

Jasek said that implementing these ideas would be a way for Student Affairs to take action against the graffiti and the brochures without touching the “freedom of speech” aspect behind them, explaining that, as a state institution, CCSU cannot “pick and choose which speech we’re going to allow and endorse and which we can’t.”

“What we are addressing is the vandalism. We’re not addressing what’s actually written. That’s why we wanna do these things to [focus on the power of diversity and unity],” Jasek said.