Hateful vandalism on campus should spark outrage, not silence

Fliers posted in the Cypress D dorm at USF stated prejudiced vandalism had taken place. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/SOPHIA ESCALANTE

College students should not ignore the recent vile vandalism on campus. Tolerating hate crimes essentially permits them to continue. Students need to stand up against any form prejudice, especially those directed toward our peers.

Millennials are the most racially diverse generation in the U.S. According to the Pew Research Center, half of millennials are politically independent and 29 percent are not affiliated with any religion.

Current college students are the epitome of diversity and have embraced tolerance in a manner not found in previous generations. Yet, it would be naive to assume such a diverse group is without flaws. 

As demonstrated in the vandalism of the Cypress D dorms on Sept. 10 and Sept. 13, hate is still prevalent among younger age groups. 

Students awoke to bright yellow papers plastered on the wall insisting, “This was the site of racist and sexist vandalism.” 

Ana Hernandez, the assistant vice president for Housing and Residential Education at USF, could not disclose precisely what the message said, however, she believes the two incidents were related.

In an email sent to the student body Friday, Danielle McDonald, assistant vice president and dean of students, stated the “incidents do not represent the values on which our university prides itself.” 

“As usual, college students are at the forefront of civil displays of activism and protest showcasing the purpose of universities as catalysts for change,” McDonald wrote.

In a time where hate crimes are becoming a daily occurrence, many fail to bat an eye at another contempt-filled misdeed. Becoming indifferent to animosity is not the answer.

Swastikas were drawn on the campus of San Jose State last week, a 14-year-old was arrested for igniting women by their clothes in New York City two weeks ago, a Florida man set fire to a mosque in Fort Pierce on Sept. 11 and hordes of people continue to use social media to harass anyone who is remotely different from them.

The tensions between police and the African-American population are only escalating as the death rate continues to rise. Protests are breaking out across the country and unfortunately, they do not always remain peaceful.

To deny there is an undercurrent of hate in our society would be idiotic. But students should not conform to the increasing intolerance simply because it is quickly becoming a norm. 

The bigoted graffiti artist is still at large, and the university is asking students for help to identify the culprit. USF doesn’t tolerate misogyny or racism and its student body shouldn’t either. 

An abhorrent individual branded the university, and students should be outraged. Standing together against such acts is the only way to ensure they do not continue.

After all, millennials are the largest generation in this country. If we set a moral example, others may not follow but they will be forced to become a pariah. 

College students are renown for being politically active and socially open-minded. A whopping 69.2 million millennials are voting-age citizens, second only to the 69.7 million Baby Boomers currently eligible to vote, according to the Pew Research Center. 

The passion demonstrated by young voters led the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage, more states are becoming tolerant of marijuana, we are working on inter-sexualizing feminism, we’ve redrawn the boundaries of what a “professional” looks like and we are hesitant of war after a lifetime of watching soldiers die on foreign fields.

The U.S. has already been affected by the open-minded and passionate beliefs of millennials. It’s not absurd to believe we can conquer intolerance as well.


Breanne Williams is a senior majoring in mass communications.