More bigoted slurs found in UMass dorm

  • UMass Amherst campus

Staff Writer
Published: 11/14/2018 9:30:21 AM

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts Amherst has been the scene of yet another bigoted attack after someone wrote homophobic and transphobic slurs, and drew a swastika, on a student’s dorm room door.

The incident happened in John Quincy Adams residence hall on Tuesday, according to an email that university Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy sent to the campus community Tuesday evening. Campus police have begun investigating the incident, reviewing surveillance footage and data from key-card readers, as well as interviewing witnesses, according to Subbaswamy.

“The words and symbols that the perpetrator of this latest incident chose, while targeted at one person, are an assault on all transgender, gay and Jewish members of our community and are clearly intended to intimidate,” Subbaswamy said. “Let us not be intimidated.” 

This is the latest of several incidents of hate speech targeting minorities on campus. Last Thursday, someone wrote the N-word on an anti-racist poster in Melville Hall, and stickers and and flyers for a white nationalist group were found spread across campus. Melville was also the scene of two other incidents this semester: someone scrawled a racist threat on a bathroom mirror in the lobby, and someone etched what appeared to be a Confederate flag on a sign.

“Too often this semester, I have shared with you a message like this, condemning acts of hate,”  Subbaswamy wrote on Tuesday. “I do so because it is important that those individuals who are the objects of such bigotry know that they are not alone – that every one of us who cherishes the rich diversity of our community stands with them and rejects the hatred spewed by a handful of anonymous cowards.”

The student whose door was defaced on Tuesday was not in the residence hall at the time of the attack, according to Subbaswamy. Resources are being offered to residents of the dorm, who were also asked to attend a hall meeting Tuesday evening in response to the incident.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.


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