Racist Message Written on Dorm Whiteboard


Kirby Goodman and Kelsey McGeough, News Editors

Update 11/2 The Campus Safety investigation into the racist message written on a dorm whiteboard continues under the leadership of Associate Vice President for Campus Safety Dan Gough and Assistant Director for Investigations Valerie Brogan.

At this time, Gough, Brogan and their team are conducting follow-up interviews with parties “that may be involved.” They are using their initial interviews and records of who swiped into Russell House, where the whiteboard incident occurred, around the time of the incident.

Though that information can be helpful to “create a timeline,” Gough said the investigation is still “heavily reliant on students coming forward with information” or admitting responsibility. 

Gough said the note on the whiteboard was reported to him late Tuesday night through Colgate’s online report forum as a “Bias, Discrimination, and/or Harassment Incident.” The investigation immediately began with several interviews within the first 12 hours. This immediacy is really important, Gough said, to ensure interviewees remember the chronological order of events clearly. 

Gough said students can report information anonymously to Campus Safety through this online report and tip form. Students can also report an incident here for any of these categories: Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (Title IX), Bias, Discrimination, and/or Harassment, Concern About the Well-being of a Student, Disruptive or Aggressive Behavior, Hazing and/or Organizational Misconduct or a Campus Safety Tip. Gough encourages students to report, anonymously or not, as the investigation is heavily reliant on information and leads from the community. 

“I’m personally deeply disturbed by this incident and all others like it. I would encourage people to report them. It starts with conversation and goes from there,” Gough said. “And that can get us to be more aware of the issue… around racial bias.”

Gough said he will communicate with the community in a timely manner as information is made available to him. With the current status of the investigation, he said he is unable to give a clear timeline for the investigation and community alerts given how reliant the investigation is on reports.

“If we get developments on the case that are important for the campus community to know we’ll make them aware,” Gough said. “If we have no updates I’ll certainly inform the campus community of that, too.”

Original story 10/30 The Maroon-News is currently investigating an incident of racism which occurred in writing on the whiteboard of the door to a room in Russell House in the Bryan Complex in the evening of Tuesday, October 29. Campus Safety has initiated an investigation, according to a statement by Dean of the College Paul McLoughlin. 

Photos of the whiteboard are circulating around campus. On the whiteboard, “is a [F-word] [N-word]” was written under the name of a resident in the room. Residents of the room erased the message and wrote in response, “Days since racist incident at Colgate: 0. Please sign all racist notes with your name and student ID. [Signed] The 4 women of color who live here.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Campus safety at 315-228-7333, [email protected], or via campus safety’s anonymous tips form. McLoughlin expressed that racism of any kind is not tolerated on campus, and parties found responsible will face consequences in his email statement to the Colgate community. 

“As our community faces this display of intolerance, we must come together in support of one another, in support of the Colgate values that unite us, and in solidarity against any voice of hatred and ignorance,” McLoughlin said. “Achieving an inclusive campus requires all of us to stand up and speak out against any act, or inaction, that seeks to divide our community.”

The Student Government Association will hold a speak-out about the incident on October 30 at 7 p.m. at Edge Cafe to discuss the incident.