BOWIE, Md. - Bowie State University staff removed a swastika painted on a campus building, and it is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
The offensive image spread on social media sites Thursday afternoon after it was discovered on a pillar at the Martin Luther King Jr. Communication Arts Center.
More than 100 students gathered Thursday night to discuss the incident, which comes on the heels of threats at Howard University and high racial tensions at the University of Missouri. The administration said it supports the students who decided to rally in opposition to hate speech.
“It's not something that we take lightly. It’s a threat to the safety of our campus. And it's something that we take very seriously,” said Bowie State University senior student TeAna Brown.
“Do you feel safe here?” asked FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis.
“I do feel safe here, especially now. I feel like if -- as one of our SGA representatives said -- if we had swept it under the rug, I would be concerned,” Brown added.
The administration said all graffiti on campus is photographed by campus police and immediately removed by the facilities staff. Campus police are collaborating with Prince George’s County police to investigate the incident.
Bowie State University is a historically black college, and the university is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.