Police have been alerted to a series of defacings of posters for the Muslim Student Association on the Shoreline Community College campus.
Safety and Security Director Robin Blacksmith said a faculty member reported April 6, 2015, seeing one of the club posters with a phrase referencing violence in the Middle East written across the poster. In removing the poster and while checking the rest of the campus, security personnel found three more club posters defaced in a similar manner.
Then, on April 13, six more defaced posters were found by security personnel. The Muslim Student Association is one of the many on-campus club organizations recognized and supported by the Student Body Association.
The college has reported the incidents to Shoreline Police who said they are aware of similar incidents off campus and not involving the student club. College officials said the handwriting on all the defaced posters appears to be the same, perhaps indicating it is the work of one person.
This past fall, the college launched an ongoing collaborative process to establish a campus community standard around respect and support. Progress from that effort will soon be available for college-wide review and input, says Shoreline Community College President Cheryl Roberts.
“It is a core value of Shoreline that everyone who comes to this campus feels respected and supported,” Roberts said. “When one of us is diminished, we are all diminished.”
During fall quarter, separate incidents of intolerance by defacing posters for the Project Pride and Muslim Student Association clubs brought swift responses from President Roberts, who called together employees and students to discuss potential courses of action. Out of those discussions has come an effort to create and implement a community standard regarding intolerance.
“We’re working on three areas,” Roberts said. “First, defining a response; second, creating a policy around the values of inclusiveness and dignity for all and statement or motto to reflect that policy, and then third, how to infuse those values in the campus culture.”
A group of college employees and students have been meeting and working on those three areas. The group anticipates coming to the campus for a larger conversation during spring quarter, said Roberts, who has been closely involved in the effort.
“As a college, we respect each individual. This value speaks to the character of our college and gets to the heart of who we are,” Roberts said. “Shoreline is committed to equity, inclusion and respect for the rights of all persons.”
Roberts urged the campus community to reflect the value of respect for all persons. “If you see hate, say something; report it,” Roberts said. Reporting options include:
- Dean of Students Kim Thompson, 206-546-6910
- Safety and Security Director Robin Blacksmith, 206-546-4633
- Advising & Counseling Director Yvonne Terrell-Powell, 206-546-4559
- Vice President for Human Resources & Legal Affairs Stephen Smith, 206-546-4694
- In an emergency situation, call 911