Slurs Written On SDSU Student’s Dorm Room Door
Slurs Written On Whiteboard Three Seperate Times In Two Weeks
South Dakota State University Junior Tanner Johnson, a History Education student, put up a rainbow flag for LGBT support to decorate his dorm room door.
Alongside Johnson’s flag was a white dry erase board.
He would hand-draw trivia questions for passers-by to entertain themselves.
He said his fun took a dark turn over the last couple weeks.
“I returned from class one day to find a rude remark relating to my sexuality on it,” said Johnson.
After reporting the incident to SDSU housing staff, the incident happened again on two separate occasions.
Johnson said he’s been called discriminatory names before, but wasn’t expecting it at SDSU.
“When you give people an anonymous place to express those feelings, they’re going to become a lot more bold, say things that they maybe wouldn’t say to your face,” said Johnson.
Dr. Douglas Weremedal, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, said this is an uncharacteristic incident on campus.
“In the last two reporting years, we’ve had five incidences of similar nature and that’s with basically 25,000 students active on our campus,” said Dr. Weremedal.
The school is investigating the incident.
Dr. Weremedal said he hopes educational tools will help prevent incidents like this in the future.
“While we would prefer that that number (total number of incidents) was zero, we’ve created the safe campus that would indicate that individuals feel safe here, feel connected and know what their resources are should an incident arise,” said Dr. Weremedal.
Johnson has since taken the whiteboard down, simply due to “laziness” about making another trivia question.
He said his door will return to normal, soon enough.
“I sort of want to show people that they can’t bully their way through some things they don’t like so I do plan to put the whiteboard back up eventually and I don’t see the need to take the flag down,” said Johnson.
The school is going over the pictures of the slurs made on Johnson’s white board for possible handwriting matches.
They are also working with Johnson regarding his Title Nine rights.