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College Investigates Racial Graffiti in Dorm

Patrick Lawlor, Associate Editor in Chief

When freshman Lance Hill woke up one morning last week, he was shocked to see what was written on the whiteboard on his door: a racially and sexually offensive message.

“I don’t know why someone would do that,” said Hill, who is black.

His initial reaction would be to erase it, and forget about it — brush it off, he said. Instead Hill decided to post a photo of the scrawl on Facebook. From there, the story blew up. Many people commented in disgust and surprise, and some offered condolences for Hill having this done to him.

A Lawrence native, Hill is no stranger to campus. He attended Coach Bert Hammel’s ABA Basketball camp for several years, and never thought this would happen at Merrimack.

“Such actions do not represent the attitudes, beliefs, or feelings of the Merrimack College community. They will not go unchallenged, ignored, or minimized and if the perpetrators are identified, they will be dealt with accordingly,” said President Christopher E. Hopey in a statement.

In an effort to better control and be aware of these situations, Hopey called on Fr. Ray Dlugos, vice president for mission and student affairs, to gather with other administrators and various groups to develop clear policies and processes for when things like this happen.

“These policies will include a process of informing all of us whenever an incident occurs on our campus,” Hopey’s statement said.

Police Services also responded to the incident. Chief Ron Guilmette announced a $500 reward for information pertaining to the door tagging

“If you have any information about this cowardly act, you are encouraged to either call or e-mail Deputy Chief Mike DelGreco or Lt. Dennis Peterson as soon as possible,” the chief said.

“I know this is not what Merrimack is like,” said Hill. “We are a tight family, we need to bring people together.”

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