Fordham University Investigates Bias Crimes on Campus

Students are circulating a petition protesting the incidents, and are meeting with university officials later this week.

By Ida Siegal
|  Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012  |  Updated 10:13 AM EDT
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Fordham University officials said Monday they are investigating a series of racially charged bias crimes on the school's Bronx and Manhattan campuses.

The most recent incident happened Friday, when a janitor discovered a racial slur written in the bathroom of a building on the Rose Hill campus.

The week before, an anti-gay slur was written in a stairwell at the Lincoln Center campus, officials said. And in February, another racial slur was written on the dorm room door of a black student.

"I'm outraged that this is going on on this campus, that people are writing racial slurs in 2012," said student Lawrence Sealy. "This seems like something that would happen in the '60s, not today."

Fordham University President Joseph McShane wrote to students Monday, saying that each of the slurs "is a stain on the Fordham community, and on each of its members... This behavior is -- or should be -- far, far outside the range of acceptable expression at a Jesuit institution."

Nearly 1,500 students have signed a petition online calling for an end to the bigotry. Many said these incidents do not reflect the tone on campus.

Officials said campus police are handling the investigation and said they will be reporting their finding to the U.S. Department of Education.

On Wednesday, the university president will be meeting with a host of student groups, including one created in reaction to the bias crimes. 

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