A racial slur written in red paint was discovered on the sacred fire circle in Dejope Residence Hall Monday morning on Columbus Day, according to an email sent by University of Wisconsin officials to the campus community.
The graffiti was removed Monday and is being investigated by the UW Police Department, according to the email.
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The name of the residence hall comes from the Ho-Chunk language. Dejope or “Teejop” translates to “Four Lakes” in Ho-Chunk. UW is currently reaching out to their partners at Native Nations across Wisconsin to let them know they do not tolerate this behavior.
“UW–Madison strongly condemns this criminal act and the clear bigotry behind it, particularly on a day that is so significant to Native American peoples and the loss of their cultures,” the email said.
Several other instances of vandalism targeted at Native Americans were reported overnight in the Madison area, according to the email. The email added that Native heritage revitalization and recognition of tribal sovereignty are important to UW.
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Students who may need support are encouraged to reach out to the Dean of Students office, or connect with University Health Services if they would like to speak with a mental health care provider.
“As a campus, we need to stand together,” the email said. “Know that we remain invested in creating a campus community where every person feels welcome and able to succeed.”
Anyone who has additional information about this crime is recommended to contact UWPD at 608-264-2677.