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Racist graffiti found on University of Iowa campus during first week of classes

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IOWA CITY, Iowa-- It's the first week of classes for Hawkeye students in Iowa City, and they're already facing some real-world problems: racist graffiti at two residence halls.

House and dining staff reported seeing the graffiti at Hillcrest and Catlett residence halls.

University of Iowa Police have opened an investigation, so images of the graffiti can't be shared.

In a school-wide email, university leaders are reminding students that "hate speech does not reflect the values of the institution and will not be tolerated."

Students are also making it clear they are not tolerating hate either.

"Even though it's a predominantly white school, it is pretty open to other races and ethnicities," one student explained.

Another agreed, "I don't know who is out there, writing racist things, but they should know that's not right."

17% of University of Iowa students are minorities. That's far fewer than at Western Illinois University where 32% of undergrads are, or the University of Illinois, where 36% are minorities.

In a "Welcome Back" message to students last week, University of Iowa's president pledged to maintain a safe and inclusive campus for people of all backgrounds.