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University investigating "racial epithets" written in Dowell Hall custodian closet

Mercer is currently investigating "racial epithets" discovered by staff on the morning of Feb. 20 in Dowell Hall, according to the university.

A "racial epithet," or racial slur, is a derogatory, pejorative, or otherwise insulting term used to insult others on the basis of race.

The message was "written in a custodian’s closet and an adjacent wall in a campus residence hall," President William D. Underwood wrote in a statement to The Cluster. The statement identified the message as "graffiti." The Cluster is unable to verify the exact wording of the message at this time.

According to Housing and Residence Life, Dowell Hall does not have any surveillance cameras indoors.

"Mercer Police and other University administrators are aggressively investigating this incident to identify the perpetrator or perpetrators," Underwood said. "Needless to say, this type of abhorrent behavior is completely unacceptable at Mercer University, and if the identity of the perpetrator is determined, whether a student, staff person, or contractor, all available disciplinary actions will be vigorously pursued."

This story is developing and will be updated as The Cluster discovers more information.


Mary Helene Hall

Mary Helene Hall ‘23 is a journalism and women’s and gender studies student who has worked for The Cluster throughout her time at Mercer. She has held internships at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and AL.com, where she covered a variety of topics including politics, crime and culture.


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