A group of Student Government senators found copies of the Quran inside the toilets in the bathrooms adjacent to the Galaxy Rooms.
The Quran is the holy text in Islam, and it is considered sacred by Muslims around the world.
Jonathan Schuler, the head of the SG legislative affairs committee, discovered the Qurans in the bathrooms after the Student Government meeting on March 28. Schuler came to the office and asked the senators what they were supposed to do.
“I was appalled. It made a lot of the hate I had been hearing and seeing on national news real, and very present,” he said.
Sammy Lutes, a neuroscience senior who serves as a senator on the legislative affairs committee, immediately took pictures of the incident as evidence.
“I was just really shocked. And I was kind of in disbelief for a moment. I didn’t believe that was a real thing that must have happened,” Lutes said.
The senators immediately reported it to the Student Union manager, who called UTD police and removed the Qurans. A police officer arrived at the scene and collected evidence. The case is currently under investigation, but UTD police could not be reached for comment.
The Muslim Student Association held its regular board meeting and discussed the incident. Mohammad Syed, president of the MSA, strongly condemned the act.
“Given the current political climate and how Muslims are portrayed in the media, it makes certain individuals act in this hateful way,” he said.
Syed said, however, the MSA board was surprised something like this happened on campus because of the supportive sense of community at UTD.
“We have received so much support and appreciation from fellow student organizations and the university itself, including the president,” Syed said.
Student Government released a larger statement on April 5 condemning the incident and reaffirming that the action was unrepresentative of the UTD community.
“In itself, I think it is an isolated incident not part of a larger effort. But I still think it is extremely frightening. I think that administration should really address the situation of Islamophobia and hate on campus,” Lutes said.