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Woodsworth College sign defaced with racist, anti-Black graffiti

Campus Safety investigating, graffiti removed on Monday
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The sign after the graffiti was removed. ANGAD DEOL/THE VARSITY
The sign after the graffiti was removed. ANGAD DEOL/THE VARSITY

Content warning: This article discusses anti-Black racism, mentions the n-word, and mentions antisemitism. 

The Woodsworth College Residence sign on Bloor Street was found defaced with anti-Black graffiti on October 17. 

The graffiti was removed by the next day. It read, “What’s a [n-word’s] personality.” 

In an email to The Varsity, a spokesperson for the university confirmed that the graffiti was reported on October 18 and later removed, adding that Campus Safety is investigating the incident. 

“The University of Toronto condemns this vandalism in the strongest possible terms – there is no place for racism of any kind on any of our campuses,” wrote the spokesperson. 

This is not the first time that racist graffiti has been found on or near campus. In 2016, an Ontario Institute for Studies in Education sign was defaced with a swastika; and in 2020, Black Lives Matter signs outside a U of T elementary school were defaced

In an email to The Varsity, University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) External Commissioner Justin Patrick wrote that the “UTGSU staunchly opposes this blatant act of anti-black, racist graffiti.” 

“U of T must work to promote a culture of anti-racism on campus and make clear to all who work and study on campus premises, as well as to those who are travelling through campus to get to another destination, that racism will not be tolerated,” wrote Patrick. He added that reforms to Campus Safety services should work to address all forms of racism on campus. 

He further asserted that efforts to address anti-Black racism on campus should involve community consultations with students of colour and lead to “tangible reforms” to how safety is ensured on campus. 

The Varsity has reached out to the University of Toronto Students’ Union for comment.