By Helen Stec
Authorities at the University of Connecticut have opened an investigation after the words “killed Paris” were written on student Mahmoud Hashem’s dorm room name tag.
The vandalism was discovered Saturday in the Nathan Hale Inn and Conference Center by Hashem’s roommate.
“Killed Paris” refers to the terrorist attacks perpetrated in Paris Friday night, which killed over 120 people, and which ISIS has claimed responsibility for.
Hashem, who is originally from Egypt, said he’s had a green card for four years, but moved to the United States to finish his education this year.
“At first I thought [my roommate] was joking, but when I saw what happened, it was so upsetting. It’s awful because I didn’t do anything… I love this country. So why did they treat me like a terrorist?” he said.
Following the incident, Hashem’s roommate reported it to their resident assistant, who then contacted UConn authorities.
Khaled Hashad, a friend of Hashem’s who is also Egyptian, expressed a great sense of indignation. He said that Hashem and several other Egyptian students met with UConn Dean of Students, Eleanor Dougherty, on Sunday.
Ahmed Ouda, another Egyptian student and friend of Cashem’s, wrote a Facebook post about the vandalism on Saturday, which garnered much attention from UConn’s student body.
“It could’ve happened to me. It could’ve happened to any of us,” he said.
Ouda cited a desire to bring attention to racism on UConn’s campus and attempt end it once and for all.
University spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said the act of vandalism was “unacceptable, and contradicts UConn’s values as it works to provide a welcoming environment for all students on all of our campuses.”
Reitz added that UConn Police and other UConn officials are currently investigating the incident and are also “working to provide support to the student and impacted community.”