Walker Hall sign uprooted again, some suspecting foul play
No other signs in the surrounding area were affected
With the wrath of Hurricane Irma, very little of UF's campus was left untouched. While the sign for Grinter Hall remains standing, a sign adjacent to it was uprooted. Coincidentally, it was the sign for Walker Hall– the center for African American and Jewish studies.
While some could place the blame on Irma, FSU alum and UF lecturer of African American studies Dr. Vincent Adejumo makes a different claim. In the Facebook post, he points out that the sign was delicately "placed" on the sidewalk, while the others were left unaffected. The Tab spoke with Adejumo, and he said that it was just lying on sidewalk; there were no marks to show that it was moved by natural forces and it looked very cleanly uprooted. He noticed the sign on his walk to one of the on-campus shelters, when he decided to stop by Walker Hall to make sure nothing was damaged.
Adejumo also voiced his concerns about the safety of UF faculty and students.
Every time these incidences happen, people focus on the incident itself and not the reason they happen. African American studies is one of the fastest growing majors and minors here at UF since it was started in 2013. People don’t focus on the fact that we are steadily growing, and that we are a presence on campus. In my opinion, there are people who do not like what we are doing and are passive-aggressively sending a message. That also poses a safety issue in this case: if you are willing to brace a hurricane to uproot a sign, then what else are you willing to do? It is just something the university needs to take note of in order to ensure the safety of its faculty and students.
The point I am trying to make here is that clearly something is happening, and the university needs to address it. Something needs to happen, there needs to be cameras installed, something. They have promised police presence, but what happens after the first few weeks? That won’t prevent the incidences.
This would not be the first incident here at the University of Florida. The sign was actually uprooted earlier this year. A student's Black History Month decorations were torn off her door in Beaty Towers, racist and xenophobic slurs were found in Anderson Hall, a noose was found in a classroom, and a man wear a Swastika was spotted in Turlington.