The University of South Carolina is inviting students, faculty, and staff to a discussion after racist and hateful messages were found on campus Tuesday morning.

A USC student returned to her campus the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to find signs reading “You stupid monkeys” and “DUMB BLACK ASSES” taped to a window display for the African American Studies Program.

“A returning student worried about books/financial aid, a freshman’s first day with a million insecure feelings,” she wrote on Twitter. “This is what we pay for.”
The University replied to her tweet, saying that, “These messages absolutely do not reflect what we believe as Carolinians,” with a link to the school’s Carolinian Creed. The Creed was established after the formation of a task force of faculty, students, and staff following “a string of violent incidents … occurring on college campuses in the late 1980s,” according to the university’s website.

[embed-3] “This morning, flyers bearing racist language were discovered in several buildings on campus,” reads a statement issued Tuesday by USC chief diversity officer John Dozier. “This is unacceptable and inconsistent with our institutional values. At UofSC, we strive to create a campus built on the tenets of the Carolinian Creed, inclusivity and respect for all. These racist messages run contrary to who we are as Gamecocks and have no place at Carolina. University officials are continuing to investigate the matter.”

Campus police are now working on a few leads.

“Eye witnesses observed a white male that appeared to be in his mid-40s in the area at the time the flyers were discovered,” according to a statement released by the university later in the day. “Video surveillance confirms that description and USCPD is working to identify the individual. Officials are not sure if he has any connection to the university.”

The dialogue will be hosted by the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Office of Multicultural Student Affairs Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Russell House Theater.