Sweet Briar College Launchs Investigation after Racist Labels Placed on Doors of Residence Hall
By Mona Abdi
Amherst County, VA - Sweet Briar College says they are looking for the person responsible for putting 'Whites only' and 'Colored' labels on the doors and water coolers of a residential hall. They say it happened between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., Thursday, on the fourth floor of the Meta Glass Hall. Sweet Briar administrators say it was a student residential advisor who came across the labels on the Meta Glass hall. "She was upset. She was, as many of us, upset, angry and hurt" said Dean of Co-Curricular Life Cheryl Steele."I believe one said colored and the other said for whites only" said Dean of Co-Curricular Life Cheryl Steele. Each label was placed, respectively, on two doors of the hall and also on two nearby water coolers. "It certainly evokes history and memories none of us want to have as part of student experience" said Steele. Another student RA, Kiona Davis says students who attended the hall meeting were shocked and uncomfortable when they heard what happened on their floor. Many of them freshmen who were preparing for the first day of school. "A lot of them would rather stay locked in their room instead of coming out, because they didn't think it was going to be like that" said Davis. Steele says this is an isolated incident and does not represent the culture of the campus. However, for a women's school founded on a former plantation and racially integrated 50 years ago, She says this incident holds more significance. "I'm sad and I continue to be sad. It's not indicative of what we are" said Student Body President Katie Craig. Craig sent an email to students stressing that Sweet Briar women are progressive, not oppressive. She says she stayed up until 3 a-m the next day consoling her fellow students. "We are not going to let this singular act define our ability to move past it and what Sweet Briar women are capable of" said Craig. In a statement to students the interim president said those labels "recall to me a world of racial discrimination, disregard for human dignity, and institutionalized prejudice." Administrators say if they find out who did it, they have defined processes for dealing with these types of situations.
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