A Boston College student was arrested by college police and suspended after writing racist graffiti in an on-campus residence hall Saturday night, according to school spokesman Jack Dunn.
Photos of the graffiti obtained by the Globe showed racial epithets, in what appeared to be black marker, on furniture, blinds, walls, a whiteboard, and a bathroom mirror. Dunn said the graffiti was found in the basement and a bathroom in Welch Hall, which is located in BC’s Upper Campus.
The graffiti has since been removed, Dunn said.
In a separate incident Saturday night, the same student allegedly discharged a fire extinguisher in another residence hall, which is located nearly a mile away from Welch Hall. The student also faces charges for assaulting a BC Police Department officer at the time of the arrest.
The student has since been committed for a psychological evaluation and “will likely remain committed for several days,” Dunn said.
This isn’t the first time in recent memory that a racist incident has sparked conflict at BC. In October 2017, two “Black Lives Matter” signs were defaced, prompting two “Silence is Still Violence” protests. Controversy sparked again that month when an image of a burnt Philly cheese steak with the phrase “I like my steak and cheese like I like my slaves” began circulating on social media.
In a statement posted on Facebook on Sunday afternoon, the anti-racism club FACES called on BC’s administration to address the “infuriating anti-black sentiments” on its campus.
“We must come together as a student body to break this cycle of hate speech leading to marches, all the while the administration fails to act meaningfully,” the post read. “Indifference, synonymous with acceptance, only perpetuates the repetition of racist, violent incidents and an unsafe campus environment.”
In an e-mail sent to the entire university on Sunday, BC’s Vice President for Student Affairs Joy Moore said the student had been issued an immediate summary suspension so he will not be allowed to return to campus until his case is adjudicated.
“As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Boston College has zero tolerance for acts of racism,” Moore wrote in the e-mail. “These actions are in conflict with our institutional values, which call on all of us to treat one another with love and respect. I ask you to reinforce to all those who comprise our community that such acts of hatred will never be accepted here.”
Brian Regan, the residential life administrator on call for the weekend, sent an e-mail to students living in Welch Hall to explain that a “bias-related incident” had taken place there overnight.
“This incident should cause you a great deal of concern because it strikes at the very heart of the College Road community,” he wrote. “This is not only an irresponsible act, but also a cowardly one that does not reflect your sensitivity and concern for one another.”