The administration of Biola University, one of the country’s preeminent evangelical colleges, sent students a biblical reminder this week: In the words of Micah, to “Do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
The prophetic verse came in response to an act of vandalism on campus, which the school said might constitute a hate crime: A black student found a swastika drawn in dry-erase marker on his or her dorm room door.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating and has not yet identified the person who drew the symbol of racial hatred, Biola spokeswoman Jenna Loumagne said Wednesday. She provided statistics showing that less than 3 percent of undergraduates at the 4,225-student college are black, and said that the university is working on increasing diversity and fostering programs to support minority students.
“It needs to be clearly and publicly stated that such an action is in direct opposition to Biola’s values of truth, transformation and testimony, which are intended to ensure that our students are equipped in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. Our community is to be characterized by Christ’s love in order to be a relevant and redemptive voice in a changing world. What we learned this week is that we still have work to do,” the school wrote in an email to students.
Administrators told students they would host two events on campus on Thursday to discuss the incident.
“At Biola University we must work to develop an inclusive community where people of color are safe, valued, and heard. This is important everywhere but especially at a university centered on Jesus Christ,” they wrote.