It looks like Michigan State University students are missing out on one major aspect of the college experience: dorm room whiteboards.
That's right, Spartans won't get to tell their roommates that they're in the cafeteria or let their fellow dorm dwellers know that they're looking for a road trip buddy for spring break. Because after someone wrote a racial slur on a whiteboard, the school decided to do away with them entirely.
According to MLive, The Lansing NAACP wrote on its Facebook page that "a young African-American honors student" had the "N-word" written on her whiteboard. After the incident, the school and the Michigan State University Police decided that the whiteboards had to go.
"It had become more of a distraction that a helpful tool," MSU Residential Services Communications Director Kat Cooper told WLNS. "Once in a while someone will write something that isn’t very nice."
Cooper added that whiteboards have been declining in popularity anyway, since students are more likely to use social media to ask questions and text their roommates directly. She also said that removing the whiteboards would be a way to stop bullying in the real world and encourage students to interact online, where we all know bullying never, ever happens.
Students disagreed, saying that the whiteboards were a lighthearted way to communicate and are useful for more than leaving messages: They're a way to boost morale and build a sense of community.
"People are going to say things no matter what, whether it's to their faces or on a whiteboard, it's just something you can’t always control," Sofia Sokansanj, a freshman at MSU, told WLNS. "Mostly I leave it up there for people to write [stuff] it's just kind of funny, it's like an anonymous thing you can put whatever you want, I just do it for fun."
The ban will go into effect this coming fall, so MSU students have the rest of the semester to leave inspirational quotes on each others' doors and ask about the location of the communal vacuum cleaner.