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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Anti-Black, anti-LGBTQ+ graffiti around SFSU

University police have opened an investigation as administration denounces the messages
A+map+of+campus+depicts+where+the+three+reported+incidents+of+anti-Black+and+anti-LGBTQ+graffiti+appeared+between+Sept.+28+through+Oct.+11.+%28Map+by+Daniel+Hernandez%2F+Golden+Gate+Xpress%29
Daniel Hernandez
A map of campus depicts where the three reported incidents of anti-Black and anti-LGBTQ graffiti appeared between Sept. 28 through Oct. 11. (Map by Daniel Hernandez/ Golden Gate Xpress)

Three instances of racist and homophobic graffiti have been found across San Francisco State University in the past month, according to a campus-wide email sent Oct. 18.

The first instance contained a racial slur for African Americans and the following two instances contained anti-LGBTQ+ phrases, including an anti-trans epithet, according to Frederick Smith, the associate vice president for equity and community inclusion.

“It was basically very short phrases that definitely shared an opinion that is antithetical to our values as a campus,” Smith said.

The graffiti was found in three locations: Near the top level of Lot 19 in the Parking Garage on Sept. 28, near the top of the Cesar Chavez Student Center on Oct. 9 and near the West Campus Green construction site on Oct. 11.

“When you’re walking to class, and you see a sign that someone doesn’t think you should exist, it throws you off,” said Jeremy Lark, director of the Queer & Trans Resource Center. “You’re on your way to a test, or class — all the statistics say you cannot learn if you feel unsafe.”

SFSU’s University Police Department has an ongoing investigation, according to the email, but has yet to find evidence that identifies the culprit.

“Anyone identified as a suspect could face an arrest and referral to the SFSU Office of Student Conduct if they are indeed a current student,” said UPD Lieutenant Jim Callaghan.

Lark doesn’t think providing more police officers is helpful in this situation.

“The problem with things like graffiti is these acts aren’t meant to target an individual, they’re meant to target a. community and make a community feel unsafe,” Lark said.

UPD, expressed in the email that they don’t believe there is an active threat to the campus but urged the community to come forward if they have information for this case.

“I just want to make clear that, for us at San Francisco State, the messages that were in those three graffiti vandalisms [are] not acceptable here. We denounce it,” Smith said. “I’m hoping that someone on campus is aware of something and can help lead university police to a space where they can identify someone during their investigation.”

Smith was unsure of why somebody would target SFSU with demeaning graffiti but also speculated that the upcoming election cycle may lead to further opinions on campus.

“We’re headed into an election cycle where I know people are going to use language, rhetoric, opinions, many that are antithetical and just don’t connect with the vibes of San Francisco State University,” Smith said. “What we’ve seen with these three incidents just is not part of our SF State community.”

 

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About the Contributors
Daniel Hernandez, Spanish Editor
Daniel Hernandez (he/him) is a transfer student from the Inland Empire majoring in bilingual journalism. He also oversees Golden Gate Xpress' Spanish section. His passion for storytelling and journalism started after he bought his first camera six years ago. What began as a fascination for taking photos and videos grew into a passion for multimedia journalism. When he isn't researching for an article or working as the Spanish editor, he explores the Bay Area or falls down a YouTube rabbit hole. Daniel Hernandez (él/ellos) es un estudiante transferido de Inland Empire con especialización en periodismo bilingüe. También es el editor de la sección en español de Golden Gate Xpress. Su pasión por el periodismo comenzó después de que compró su primera cámara hace seis años. Lo que comenzó como una fascinación por tomar fotografías y vídeos se convirtió en una pasión por el periodismo multimedia. Cuando no está investigando para un artículo o trabajando como editor de la sección en español, explora el Área de la Bahía o cae en una madriguera de YouTube.
Stephanie King, Staff Reporter
Stephanie King is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. She is a print and online journalism major with a minor in sociology. She is also enrolled in SFSU’s College of Professional & Global Education, completing a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Stephanie is a freelance writer and published author. She grew up in Marin Country, and now enjoys her rent-controlled San Francisco home with her cat, Sophie. When Stephanie is not reading biographies or other non-fiction, she attends San Francisco sports games and is a season ticket holder for The Golden State Warriors.

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