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Students rise up after racist, anti-immigrant messages are left on dorm walls

MACON, Ga. -- Following the discovery of a series of hateful messages directed toward immigrants that were written on the walls of a dorm Monday night, Wesleyan College suspended classes Tuesday.

An international student posted a picture to Facebook Monday night depicting a hateful message directed toward immigrants that was reportedly written on the door to her dorm.

The message read "Go Away Immigrant #Trump."

Sophomore Grace Stiles Williams said that hateful remarks were left on her wall Monday night as well. She said that the first message, which she quickly erased, referenced immigrants. However, she said that after that message was erased, more showed up written in green marker on doors, walls and mirrors that read, "N---- lover," "N----" and "#Trump."

Wesleyan Communications Director Mary Ann Howard said that the school decided to cancel classes "so the Wesleyan community can stand together with love and support as a united front against hatred."

Through a statement posted to the Wesleyan College Facebook page Tuesday morning, Wesleyan President Ruth Knox wrote, in part, that "We will continue to treasure students from around the world and do everything in our power to ensure that their Wesleyan experience includes the safety, community and dignity they deserve."

The Student Government Association also left a statement on the college's Facebook page Tuesday morning that read, in part, "Our diversely beautiful student body of different races, political affiliation, cultures, sexualities, sizes, abilities, and nationalities deserve our love and respect equally. All acts of hate and aggression on this campus will not be tolerated by the student body and Wesleyan as a whole."

The statement also asked that anyone with information about who wrote the message contact college officials and labeled the act as a hate crime.

In a statement also left on the Wesleyan College Facebook page, the Black Student Alliance also called the graffiti a hate crime and stated that "We are a student body and when one person is affected we are all affected."

About 50 students and faculty gathered on the college's quad at lunchtime on Tuesday to offer support for those affected by hate crimes and "for those who are afraid for the well-being of our sisters and brothers," according to a message from students also posted to the college's Facebook page.

Williams, an organizer of the event, said the goal of the sit-in was to show that everyone is welcome on their campus.

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