WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Westfield State University’s president says the college is investigating an incident in which racial slurs were written on the door of a student’s dorm room.
The racist and sexist messages were found on the same student’s dorm room door three separate times this semester.
In one of the incidents, images sent to 22News through our Report It feature show the “n-word” written in marker on a name card on a student’s door.
In response, Westfield State President Ramon Torrecilha spoke directly with students living at New Hall, where the incident took place, and also released a statement to the entire campus community Tuesday night.
“I am strongly disturbed by the motivation to engage in such a hurtful act against another individual,” the president wrote in his statement.
“We are currently investigating this unacceptable behavior. This will not be tolerated and is in strong contrast with the values and mission of Westfield State University.”
22News spoke with the victim off camera. She said that she feels unsafe following these incidents. The university says they offered to relocate the student, but she chose to stay put.
The university says they’ve stepped up their police presence around New Hall and have more resident advisers on duty. Visitors are also not being allowed in New Hall.
The president says they are also offering counseling.
“Student safety is our number one priority and elements of racism, sexism, and hate speech has no place at Westfield State University,” Torrechila said in an interview Wednesday with 22News.
Torrecila told 22News they “have an idea” who wrote the messages, and they think the person is living in the same residence hall.