Mercer University police are investigating an incident in the School of Engineering where someone rearranged letters on a bulletin board Wednesday to post a racial slur about blacks, according to school officials.
Larry Brumley, a university spokesman, said the bulletin board is maintained by the Mercer chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. Letters used to spell “engineering” were moved to spell the epithet.
The incident was discovered Wednesday evening, Brumley said. Authorities believe the defacing also occurred Wednesday evening. Brumley would not confirm who reported the incident or if surveillance equipment is in place in the building where it occurred.
A statement issued to students, faculty and staff Thursday evening said campus police are investigating an “individual.” No other details on the police investigation were released.
“This type of hateful behavior has no place in any community, and surely not at a faith-based university that strives to be a community of respect. During this week when we have come together joyously to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as our progress as a nation in electing our first African-American president, this shameful and ignorant incident reminds us that the old hatreds have not yet passed,” Mercer President William Underwood said in the statement.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Mercer Police Chief Gary Collins at (478) 301-2970 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.