College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu shared the following message with the campus community on Thursday, April 29, 2021:
Dear Campus Community,
Today, our Cougar Inclusion Team (CIT) made me aware of a recent discovery in one of our residence halls that has me deeply upset and concerned about members of our community who are not living the values of the College of Charleston.
Student residents discovered what appear to be invisible ink writings across many areas of a residential space. These writings, we believe, were written in a previous academic year and were not visible in plain sight. The messages express racist and homophobic beliefs and are deplorable. The students who discovered these messages were shocked, disheartened and harmed by this discovery, and I want to praise them for their courage in coming forward and reporting this incident. We are investigating this situation and will hold anyone found responsible for these actions to our Code of Conduct process. We will also conduct a search across campus to make sure there are no other similar writings.
These actions cause harm and create fear for our Black students and our LGBTQ+ students. There is zero tolerance for this type of behavior at the College of Charleston. Let me say that again: There is zero tolerance for this type of behavior at the College of Charleston.
For any student who has been impacted by this incident, please reach out to our Cougar Inclusion Team. Members of that team will listen to you and help make sure you are connected to support and resources. You can contact this team by emailing or calling Dr. Renard Harris (email@example.com, 843.953.5079) or Dr. Alicia Caudill (firstname.lastname@example.org), 843.953.5522). You may also complete a CIT report form here: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?CollegeofCharleston&layout_id=50
I am grateful for the working partnership I have been developing this year with our Black Student Union. We have set goals to address their thoughtful and important demands. I also appreciate all the efforts being made across campus to make the College a more welcoming and diverse community.
However, we have more work to do. I have charged the Cougar Inclusion Team to come up with a plan for further and enhanced education and prevention initiatives that can be implemented in the 2021-2022 academic year. I ask all of us to take action to become more educated and more supportive of other members of our community.
To our students in our Black and LGBTQ communities, please know that we are here for you and that we support and care for you. You belong at the College of Charleston and you are welcome here.
Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D.
College of Charleston