Graffiti and prejudiced remarks found in Fribley Commons before spring break; perpetrators still not caught

On Feb. 24 discriminatory comments and graffiti were seen by the dining staff in Fribley Commons.

Employees working that afternoon uncovered the writing in two different places. A comment card was found and brought to Mark Cameron, Bon Appétit Head Chef, which read: “There are a lot of black people working here. I hope it’s just for Black History Month. Signed, the KKK.” Cameron tore up the comment card and threw it away.

The next day, various employees saw graffiti in the women’s restroom on the dining hall floor. The letters “KKK” were written on two walls. This was reported to Cameron, who then notified Charise Reid, the Bon Appétit Human Resource Manager.

Reid addressed the incident by filing a police report and notifying the university. The university advised all involved parties to not speak publicly or in detail about the incident since it was under investigation.

A’ja Hairston, an African American Bon Appétit employee at Fribley, was one of the key witnesses.

“I saw the comment card and the writing in the bathroom,” Hairston said. “Honestly it scared me. People have committed crazy crimes in college, and I’ve been hearing about the racist things some students on this campus have been saying. I just want to make sure we’re all going to be safe for the rest of the semester.”

Hairston was referencing posts left on YikYak after a peaceful protest on campus from the African American Society, which garnered significant attention, including a university-wide email from President Barbara Snyder.

CWRU PD Sergeant Jeffrey Daberko does not believe that there is currently a physical threat to the campus community.

“As of right now, there have only been comments made,” said Daberko. “Anyone can say something wrong or write something on a comment card.”

Daberko says that although cases such as the Fribley incident are difficult to solve because of how many people could be suspects, they are still not persistent. If the situation was persistent, then the police would have more information to go on and could possibly find the culprit. But for now, the case is still open.