Racial Slurs Written in Frost on Cars in College's Student Lot Prompt Investigation

The Providence Police Department is investigating racial slurs written on student vehicles in Providence College's student parking lot in Rhode Island, the Associated Press reported.

Suspects were seen on surveillance footage late Sunday night etching the slurs onto car windows and windshields, according to police.

Providence Interim Director of Public Safety Eric Croce said a group of people were in the Glay student parking lot between 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Providence College President Reverend Kenneth Sicard said one of the slurs was on a car belonging to a student of color.

According to the Providence College website, the undergraduate class of 2023 only has 18.9 percent students of color enrolled. On Providence's Diversity page, the college detailed its commitment to maintaining a work and school environment where individuals are treated with respect. The school said the policy applies to "third parties" in the school community as well.

No updates or reports have been released to public regarding the written slurs.

Sicard called the incident "outrageous and unacceptable."

"We unequivocally condemn this kind of behavior. We pray for and stand ready to support those who were affected," Sicard said in a letter to the school community.

However, the suspects are not believed to be students of the Catholic college.

Sicard concluded that the act "appears to be random in nature."

The Providence Police Department is investigating racial slurs written on student vehicles in Providence College's student parking lot. Above, police officers and National Guard soldiers make their way through a smoke-filled street as they chase and confront protesters after curfew and after a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally in Providence, Rhode Island, on June 5, 2020. (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

A month prior to Sunday's vandalism, a security update was published by Providence's student newspaper The Cowl. Staff writers wrote about new on-campus and off-campus safety initiatives.

According to the update, the Providence Police Department stated it will increase the number of police officers assigned to weekend police detail, along with an increase in the undercover PPD officers patrolling the surrounding neighborhood.

The closest neighborhoods and areas around the college have seen a recent rise in crime. These initiatives have been implemented to "better protect both Providence College and surrounding communities," the paper said.

Initiative proposals were taken in order for the college students to feel more safe, according to the paper. These new measures come as a response to student's increasing concerns over the lack of accountability and culpability of the college's Office of Public Safety and the Providence Police Department over crime.

Shannon Russell, a student housing center operations manager, announced the implementation of a program to develop better relationships with students and the college, the police department, city officials, and the surrounding area.

"The ultimate goal, though, is to have regular communication between all groups so that we can provide you with not only an outstanding off-campus living experience, but most importantly a safe and respectful experience," Russell said in an email to off-campus tenants.