by Yair Frid, September 3, 2018
Racist graffiti was found in the University of Sydney, the target on this occasion were Asians. With tags reading ‘Stop the Asian invasion’ or ‘Kill all Asians’, the campus was attacked with graffiti and also posters. The residential college housing building ‘International House’, which harbour more than 200 students from Australia and overseas, was also attacked along with bus stops and parking meters around the city.
Last year there was a similar incident of racist graffiti in one of the Union buildings, so it has raised questions about the possibility of increasing racism on the University. A spokesperson of the college said that the two incidents were separated 10 months apart and that they should not be seen as a sign of a systemic problem. She also mentioned that this new attack is an isolated incident, but in fact there are reports of xenophobic comments against the Chinese community between the students at the university.
Some pictures of the offensive graffiti were even posted on Facebook in a group called ‘Newtown 2042’ which has almost 9000 members, where members condemned the hateful signs.
The spokesperson of the college also mentioned that the graffiti removal works started as soon as the tags were discovered in order to avoid more attacks. She also mentioned that the university has a team of Campus security officers that are in charge of patrolling the campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the whole year around, therefore students should not feel unsafe inside the campus.
Additionally, she stated that the University has a code of conduct that should be followed by students, staff and any other affiliate, in case they fail to do so, they may be subject to action and in case it is applicable, they would be referred to the police. Therefore, students should not feel unsafe and in case they do, they are urged to contact the Campus Security team.
This is one of the main reasons why the prompt removal of graffiti becomes crucial because it can create an unsafe environment, in this case, many students can feel offended. It can also lead to students feeling insecure about their personal safety because it can make them believe that they can be attacked by an offender.