Connecticut College cancels classes over racist graffiti

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NEW LONDON -- Hundreds of Connecticut College students attended a series of campus-wide discussions Monday following the discovery of racist graffiti in the school’s student center over the weekend.

College President Katherine Bergeron said in a letter to students Sunday that immediate action is necessary to "eradicate this ignorance and hatred." She said classes were canceled to ensure "these events receive the proper attention."

In place of classes, the college scheduled events for Monday, including a dialogue on diversity and an open discussion with Bergeron and other administrators at which they answered questions and concerns from students and staff in a packed auditorium.

School custodian Gevaisa General spoke out to the crowd after she said she was called a racial slur by a man she did not know in the William-Crozier Student Center last week.

"The way you guys can change is when you guys are sitting here saying that the ‘n’ word is not appropriate, it's not appropriate in any situation, at any time,” General told the crowd.

On Sunday, racist graffiti, including a racial slur, was found in three different locations inside bathrooms in the William-Crozier building.

The episode follows a controversy earlier this month over a professor’s Facebook post that roiled campus by comparing Gaza Strip to a “rabid pit bull.”

The episode follows a controversy earlier this month over a professor's Facebook post that roiled campus by comparing Gaza Strip to a "rabid pit bull."