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WSU elevator defiled

Kennedy Camarena
The inside one of the elevators located in the Shepherd Union building opening up on the fourth floor.

WSU elevator defiled
Brisa Odenthal

On June 27, a Weber State University staff member found the words “White Power” etched into the panel of an elevator in the Shepherd Union Building. Though the graffiti was removed within the hour, Weber State University sent out an email notifying the community two days later to address the situation.

As of now, the university does not know who etched the racially-charged words into the elevator panel or when the graffiti occurred. Though this seems to be an isolated incident, there has been an increase in hate crimes against persons or property in the state of Utah and in universities within the state.

In late 2021, reports of KKK activity and destruction of Black students’ property was reported at the University of Utah and in the fall of 2022, Brigham Young University came under fire after a student chanted the “n-word” at a Black volleyball player in a game against Duke University.

According to the Department of Justice, between 2020 and 2021, incidents of hate crimes were up by over 2,000 incidents in the state of Utah between the two years, with about 60% of incidents having to do with racial or ethnic background. The data for 2022 and 2023 have not yet been released by the department.

In the email sent out to students by Tammy Nguyen, WSU’s executive director for access and inclusion, the University addressed their disapproval of the actions and any other actions that perpetuate racism.

The university also encouraged students to reach out to WSU’s counseling services and centers for belonging and cultural engagement, if they feel necessary.

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About the Contributors
Brisa Odenthal, News editor
Kennedy Camarena, Editor-in-chief

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    Lynette JensenJul 11, 2023 at 4:11 pm

    Prejudice of any kind is ugly and should be called out when it occurs. However, inaccurate reporting should also be called out. An incident referenced in this article regarding activities at BYU has not been corroborated by witnesses or through an investigative process. As a minimum, it should have been mentioned that there was a claim that this occurred rather than presenting it as a statement of fact. Fueling divisiveness by not being honest in reporting, or at best sloppy, does not help mend any societal weaknesses, something I would assume we are all supportive of.