After discussing the topic with friends, and online, I decided to go add a comment below the wrench poster plastered to the door of my dorm building. I discretely added an index card, urging students to report all suspicions to TUPD, no matter what.
The next time I walked by that door, both my index card and the original poster were gone. In fact, all three posters in the surrounding area had vanished. Interesting.
Then I got to Shabbat services, where I had the opportunity to talk with Max, with whom I had already spoken about the subject. His adventures are detailed in his humorous and intriguing blog post on the subject. He took a somewhat comic approach to the issue, posting his own posters. In short, his posters pointed out the flaw in the original batch: they used an adjustable wrench; the real individual was holding a ratchet wrench.
|The counter (or clarification) poster|
|Holding a ratchet wrench like a pistol|
Moral of the story? Of course gender/race discrimination exists. But don't go creating it where it doesn't. The real solution to all of this? Educate people about what tools look like. That being said, definitely take time to have a dialogue about race and gender. But not in this context. This isn't fair to people trying to do the right thing.
Remember: Report suspicious behavior to TUPD! It doesn't make you look stupid, it helps keep us safe. Also remember: Computer science students get free printing; make friends with them.