When Riya Adhikari found an anti-immigrant message on her dorm room door, she shared it with the world.
On a white board in purple marker, the words read: “Go Away Immigrant #Trump”
Adhikari, whose profile says she is from Nepal, posted that she felt “powerful” Monday night that someone was so threatened by her existence that he or she wrote on her board.
“To the scared, ignorant person who wrote it, if you think you broke me, you’re wrong,” Adhikari posted. “Those words of hate you scribbled on my wall has shown me how much love and support I have.”
The post generated hundreds of responses. Many of those commenting were Wesleyan alumnae expressing their support of Adhikari.
Other messages, including one with racial slurs, were left on other doors, said Andrea Williford, vice president of advancement at Wesleyan.
“At this point, we don’t know how many students are involved,” Williford said. “We think it’s pretty isolated to one hall.”
Classes at the women’s college were canceled Tuesday so that faculty, staff and students could discuss what happened.
“We’re still open for business, just a different business today,” Campus Police Chief Lionel Doss said.
Meetings will be held through the day to give students an opportunity to vent.
“We have a wonderfully diverse community, and we feel we needed to take this time to listen,” Williford said. “We want to hear from their perspective if this is something that has to be dealt with institutionally, or is this between two girls that got mad at each other?”
An hour after Adhikari’s post, a message from Wesleyan College President Ruth Knox appeared in the school’s public alumnae group on Facebook.
Though it did not directly mention the incident, Knox began the statement by saying Wesleyan welcomes international students.
“Our diversity is among our greatest strengths,” Knox quoted the college’s mission statement.
Knox went on to say that “Our Wesleyan and United Methodist values charge us to ‘love our neighbors as ourselves’ and to consider the world our neighborhood.”
Knox pledged to deal appropriately with anyone who violated the code of conduct.
“We abhor uncivil behavior that threatens the sanctity of our community, either from within or outside our campus,” Knox’s statement read.
“We will continue to treasure students from around the world and do everything in our power to ensure that their Wesleyan experience includes the safety, community and dignity they deserve.”
Students and college organizations also posted statements about the incident in the alumnae group.
The college’s Student Government Association condemned the mysterious message.
“All acts of hate and aggression on this campus will not be tolerated by the student body and Wesleyan as a whole. We are sisters on this campus, and actions of hate against one affect us all,” the SGA post stated.
The Black Student Alliance posted that the group: “stands in solidarity with all students on Wesleyan’s campus from all different walks of life, regardless of race, gender, cultures, and nationalities. We do not tolerate hate or rude behavior, in any shape, form, or fashion. We are a student body and when one person is affected we all are affected. Yesterday’s offenses are hate crimes and are not accepted period.”
Many colleges have recently condemned a travel ban, which block immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, put in place by President Donald Trump. Wesleyan Provost Vivia Fowler said in a statement to The Telegraph Monday that the college will continue to accept applications from international students and “do everything in our power to ensure that they can enroll at Wesleyan and experience the safety, community and dignity they deserve.”