Students have vowed to protest or block North Carolina State University’s Free Expression Tunnel until the university’s chancellor gives guarantees that no hate speech will be allowed there.
About 40 students painted the tunnel black overnight to protest racist and homophobic graffiti involving President Barack Obama painted there Sunday night.
Slurs and the name “Obama” were painted over the picture of a black man.
The Free Expression Tunnel is “a reflection of our university, so we have to be more thoughtful and maybe encourage our students to be more thoughtful in messages that are left there,” Woodson said.
“We have the thoughts of having more surveillance cameras and people thinking about just shutting down the Free Expression Tunnel completely,” he said. “Some people want guidelines (that) if you do write something (that’s hate speech), then there’s a penalty to what you write.”
Bonds said that graffiti demeaning many different groups is common in the tunnel.
“It’s free expression, but nobody is walking through, regulating it,” she said. “They’re just letting it happen, and it’s not just racism, but gender, sexuality and religious discrimination.”