Officials are looking into fliers with racial remarks that were posted on a University of South Carolina campus building sign on Tuesday, the day after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Sophomore Kiara Rious, 19, saw the fliers inside Gambrell Hall as she walked to an 8:30 a.m. class on Tuesday, which was the first day of spring classes at USC.
“I don't even know what to say really,” Rious, a criminal justice major, told The State. “It's just really disgusting that someone would put that there.”
The fliers were taped to a display case outside the offices for the university’s African-American studies program, she said. A man standing in front of display case was on the phone, Rious said.
“He was saying should he take them down or should he leave them up,” she said.
The fliers blamed African-Americans for the election of President Donald Trump, but used racially insensitive language to do so.
Rious posted a picture of the fliers to Instagram. She said it appeared the other students in her class had not seen them.
Less than three years ago, a USC student was suspended because of a photo of a racial slur written in a campus study room. The photo showed a white female student writing on a whiteboard with a slur about African-Americans.
USC spokesman Jeff Stensland called the fliers “unacceptable and inconsistent with our institutional values.”
“At Uof SC, we strive to create a campus built on the tenets of the Carolinian Creed, inclusivity and respect for all,” Stensland said in a statement. “These racist messages run contrary to who we are as Gamecocks and have no place at Carolina. University officials are continuing to investigate the matter.”
The university’s Twitter account also responded back to multiple users who tweeted them about the incident. Fliers were also placed in a second building on campus.
“Eyewitnesses observed a white male that appeared to be in his mid-40s in the area at the time the (fliers) were discovered,” Stensland said. “Video surveillance confirms that description and USCPD is working to identify the individual. Officials are not sure if he has any connection to the university.”
Dani Goodreu, the university’s student body vice president, issued a comment through Twitter, saying she was “disgusted by the display of hatred in Gambrell Hall against our African American scholars.”
“I am appalled,” Goodreau said. “This is an attack on our colleagues, our friends and our Carolina home. This is an attack on our heart, our mind. I remain trusting in our university’s administration to stand against this atrocious display of racism – and an attack on Uof SC core beliefs.”
Leland Williams, a 23-year-old journalism and theater student, expressed concern over how the university would address the incident. He said he doesn’t think the cameras in Gambrell Hall point directly at the display case; if that’s true, whoever did it could get away with it.
“We can’t allow these things to keep happening,” Williams said. “We all love this campus. We want it to be great.”