Office of Student Conduct investigating anonymous AirDrop message containing hate speech

An undergraduate student received an anonymous AirDrop message containing hate speech focused on race this weekend, according to a Tuesday email sent to students by John Blackshear, associate vice president for student affairs, Vice Provost Mary Pat McMahon and Gary Bennett, vice provost of undergraduate education. 

The incident, which occurred on Saturday afternoon in the Brodhead Center, was first reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards on Monday, the email read. It is not known whether those involved in sending the message were Duke students. 

“We strongly condemn any act of hate or bias on our campus and acknowledge that the impact of hateful speech can be profound and long lasting,” the email read.

According to the email, OSCCS is investigating the incident “to determine if more can be learned about the circumstances surrounding this event.”

If the incident is found to be the fault of a Duke student, the OSCCS will issue sanctions to the responsible student. 

“Any incident that is motivated in whole or part by an individual’s race, warrants ‘acceleration’ or elevation of sanctioning due to the impact on the community,” the email read.  

There have been multiple hate and bias incidents on Duke's campus in recent years. The East Campus bridge was vandalized with homophobic and anti-Black graffiti last October. A printout of George Floyd’s toxicology report was hung beside a photo of his face on a Black History Month-themed bulletin board in Brown dorm in March 2021. A swastika was found on the East Campus bridge in February 2020 and was quickly painted over. `

Mental health resources

The Chronicle has compiled a list of general mental health resources, as well as specific mental health guides for people of color.

This is a developing situation and will be updated when more information is available.

Milla Surjadi profile
Milla Surjadi | Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator

Milla Surjadi is a Trinity junior and a diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator of The Chronicle's 119th volume. She was previously editor-in-chief for Volume 118.

Katie Tan profile
Katie Tan | Digital Strategy Director

Katie Tan is a Trinity junior and digital strategy director of The Chronicle's 119th volume. She was previously managing editor for Volume 118. 


Share and discuss “Office of Student Conduct investigating anonymous AirDrop message containing hate speech ” on social media.