More details about racist graffiti revealed, students remain unnotified


Samantha Laurey

DVC Latino Students Rally Behind Bernie Sanders (Samantha Laurey/The Inquirer).

DISCLAIMER: On March 8, The Inquirer received photos of the racist graffiti found in the men’s ET restrooms. The following images contain offensive language and imagery of lynching.

As the investigation continues regarding racist graffiti found on March 6, students at Diablo Valley College are still not aware of the situation at hand.

The Inquirer interviewed dozens of students from EOPS, financial aid, the assessment center, welcome services, the PUMA center, the PAC building, and the learning center regarding the situation; virtually none had heard about the graffiti.

However, DVC student Ramiro Pacheco knew of the incident, as he saw the graffiti firsthand. He took to Snapchat to post about the vandalism. According to Pacheco, the image depicted a lynching of an African American engineer that included racial slurs. 

“The fact that I just looked over to the left and saw the message on there is pretty bad. But the fact that I saw someone there being hanged and lynched is even worse. I feel like this taking it too far,” said Pacheco. “I was really shocked to see it, I thought everything kind of calmed down and it rising up again, can we just not do these?” 

After The Inquirer informed individuals of the situation, many students were concerned regarding the lack of communication from administration.

The graffiti message covered up in the men’s restroom in the ET building was sent to Inquirer staff on Friday, March 8. (Photo courtesy of Panda De La Torre).

“I don’t think DVC staff would be able to find people who did it, it would be a waste of time,” said student Roman Maksmuik. “It’s not nice but I don’t think DVC is going to do anything about it.”

With a lack of notification from DVC administration, students said they were upset about how the situation is being handled.

“I think the biggest thing the administration needs to do is to let people know what happened, which is why this is such an issue because if they’re only reacting to it by not saying anything about it, they’re allowing to happen,” said student Gabriel Zimmermann “They’re okay with it which is why students should always know about this stuff…by being quiet and being passive to this kind of thing allows this to happen.”

The graffiti also depicted lynching next to the message containing hate against African American tradesmen. (Photo courtesy of Panda De La Torre).

Due to the nature of the racial slur depicted in the graffiti, some students said they felt fearful.

“It makes me a bit scared and cautious, now I feel like I have to be watching my environment which I’m not used to,” said student Ogechi Esomonu “(Students should know) because let’s say I believe this is a safe place, I would probably stay on campus (working) until 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. and not feel any type of way but knowing that there’s someone out there that’s a maniac I wouldn’t want to be outside past 7 p.m.”

The Inquirer contacted several members of administration for an official response, but none were available for comment. The following administrators said they were unavailable to comment about the issue: DVC President Susan Lamb, vice president of instruction Mary Guiterrez, interim vice president Bruce Clemetson, and interim vice president of business and administrative services Carol Hilton.

The Inquirer was able to speak to DVC Police Services. Lieutenant Ryan Huddleston encouraged all faculty and students to have a conversation about anything suspicious going on at the campus. There was a team dispatched when they were alerted about the graffiti on March 6 around 3 p.m., Huddleston said.

Police services found the graffiti and cleaned it as soon as possible. A dispatch team conducted a full search of the surrounding area and throughout campus to be sure that there weren’t any more threats, he said.

“We take all reports of graffiti seriously, we talk to faculty and students, and try to search the campus from the quad, parking lot, and other restrooms,” said Huddleston, “It is hard to go off of anything since there are no cameras in the hallways or near the bathrooms.”

Huddleston explained that police services and aides check for any trends after a report of offensive graffiti, whether it is the same tag or if the graffiti is appearing close to other graffiti. No trend has been detected as of yet, he said.

There have been no other reports of graffiti. Currently, DVC has yet to formally notify the student body of the incident.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated including photos of the current cover up of the grafitti located in the men’s restroom of the ET building.