Northern Kentucky University (NKU) has launched an investigation into the latest act of vandalism at the university over the weekend, President Ashish Vaidya revealed in a statement on the NKU website.
The incident has been attributed to white nationalist hate group Patriotic Front, formed after the 2017 “Unite the Right Rally” in Charlottesville, Virginia. The group, which has been responsible for similar acts of racism, antisemitism, and intolerance at several other colleges and universities, believes that their “ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it solely to them.”
In this latest incident, Patriotic Front members spray-painted their logo over a mural celebrating students of color at NKU. In January, the group spray-painted graffiti on the “House Rock” on campus, a space celebrating school spirit, according to Atley Smedley, Public Relations Specialist for NKU.
Criticizing the vandalism, President Vaidya wrote, “Our community cannot thrive when individuals are targeted because of the color of their skin, how they look, who they love, or how they identify themselves.”
Vaidya stated that the university will conduct a thorough investigation and increase nightly police patrols to strengthen security on campus.
Statement from President Vaidya: pic.twitter.com/HLqhEig7vf
— Northern Kentucky University (@nkuedu) April 3, 2021
‘We Are All Tired of the Hate’
NKU students took to social media to denounce the most recent act of vandalism on campus.
President-elect of the NKU Student Government Association, Aliya Cannon, posted a video on Facebook expressing her frustration at the hate crimes against people of color: “I am tired. I understand you are tired. We are tired of the disrespect, of the hate, and all of the hate crimes that continue to go on at our campus unnoticed,” she said.
A Change.org petition pressing NKU to take serious action against white supremacist groups on campus has already exceeded 750 signatures.
The group has been responsible for several other instances of campus vandalism, including one in which a Black Lives Matter Flag was ripped at Xavier University in Cincinnati earlier this year.