LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - An off-campus racial incident around UW-La Crosse is causing fear among some students.
Sometime between last night and Wednesday morning, four students of color discovered an inflammatory racial message on the door of their off-campus apartment.
The incident is once again renewing a conversation about diversity on campus and what more can be done to prevent these incidents from happening again.
It's pictures of a door of an off-campus apartment covered with a racial slur that are becoming more common for campus students.
"This is not, by any means, a free speech issue or civil discourse. This is pure hate," UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow said.
At this time, the school says it is impossible to tell what the motivations were behind the incident, or if it involved university students at all.
But students look at this crime as a result of Tuesday's election.
"I think it's a broader problem, but I think the election really revved people up to spread negative emotions that they were feeling," UW-La Crosse senior Anna David said.
Gow says the greater La Crosse community needs to come together.
"I think the people that who are sometimes saying that this is exaggerated or you're making too much out of it, that they really need to take a good look at these things, because this is true hate, and it has no place on our campus or community," Gow said.
Some students say past racial incidents over the last year show the school's climate isn't improving, and Gow stress action needs to be taken, if necessary.
"We don't know whether this reflects the value of our own people, if it does, then we need to intensify our efforts to talk to people about their behavior and their speech," Gow said.
But students are hoping a much different message will resonate soon.
"Promoting love and peace, I guess, is something that needs to happen," David said.
Until the investigation is complete into the crime, UW-La Crosse says it's impossible to determine the motivation behind the crime, or if the crime involved any UW-La Crosse students.
The investigation into the crime is being conducted by the La Crosse Police Department.
If you have any information about the crime please contact them at (608) 789-7200.
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