BOSTON (CBS) – There is outrage on the campus of Boston College after racist graffiti is found inside a residence hall.
“All I could do was cry because there were a lot of emotions going on,” said BC freshman Grace Assogba of the moment she was sent the disturbing images. “To have to deal with the stress of studying but also having to deal with the idea that my life is not valued on this campus,” Assogba said.
A spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney says 19-year-old Michael Sorkin wrote racist slurs on furniture, blinds and a bathroom mirror.
“Although we’re upset, this is not surprising because it happens every year,” said sophomore Adin Henderson. Last year, two Black Lives Matter posters were defaced.
Sorkin was suspended and arrested early Sunday. He’s now charged with malicious destruction of property and assault and battery on a police officer.
The sophomore is being held at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center where he’ll undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
“This is the first time they’ve ever done anything like that,” said Sophomore Berlindyne Elie of the student’s arrest. “They [Boston College Police] should not be applauded for that, we should be saying ‘yes finally! Thank you for doing your job.’”
Elie is one of the more than 14,000 students attending the Jesuit school. Numbers on the college’s website show 33% of its student body is comprised of people of color – 4% of those are Black. Elie and other students met Monday afternoon on the Lower Campus of the school hoping to organize a call for change.
“These racial incidents started occurring my freshman year and sophomore year and now my junior year. Each day I start to realize BC is less and less of a home and more of a place of danger for me,” said junior Jefferson Agyapong.
Assogba is a freshman senator within the student government and says the school needs to do more to address systemic racism.
“It’s something that they really need to address but they don’t. Those daily encounters where people don’t really care about Black struggle or Black history, it’s promoting an environment where people feel this is acceptable,” Assogba said.
In a statement to WBZ-TV Boston College said the student “was issued a summary suspension from the University, which bars him from campus, and faces expulsion in addition to criminal charges. Boston College condemns these reprehensible actions in the strongest terms and will provide assistance to any student affected by them.”
Suffolk County DA’s Office says Sorkin is also facing charges in connection to “offenses that appear to have been committed at locations on campus within the jurisdiction of the Newton District Court.” He is due back in court on December 20th.