Wayne State Student Zori Martinez has been a target in a pattern of racially motivated hate crimes. The harassment took place at her dorm and has occurred on three separate occasions. Martinez has since moved off campus and hopes whoever committed the crimes against her is held responsible.
The first incident Martinez said happened when she found smashed eggs on the door leading into her door which took her by surprise. The second and third incidents occurred only weeks later. Martinez said she believes that her door decorated with Black Lives Matter and Pride Flags is what motivated the vandal to attack.
Students rallied behind Martinez in this time of uncertainty. Wayne State University's Black Student Union organized a peaceful protest March 10 in response. Martinez is an aspiring law school student, and she said she fears this traumatic experience will be detrimental to her GPA and her chances of getting accepted into law school. Since then Wayne State has refunded Martinez for her housing, but the Black Student Union is calling on Wayne State to take more accountability.
In a press conference March 17, the Black Student Union prepared a list of demands, including more affordable housing on campus, increased diversity within Wayne State’s housing staff, more transparency for race related investigations, a increase in endowment funds and budget that supports Black programming, such as the African American Studies Department and BSU ( Black Student Union) just to name a few.
WSU Director of Communications Matt Lockwood attended the press conference and encouraged students to voice their opinions on issues within their community.
“Before we can respond to anything specifically, we have to take a closer look at the BSU’s requests and take into consideration the university’s circumstances as a whole during this challenging environment," Lockwood told Wayne State's newspaper, The South End. "As always, we remain committed to working with our students to ensure Wayne State’s place as a welcoming, diverse and inclusive campus."