By HARRY HUGGINS
Published: January 28, 2012
3/5/2012 UPDATE: There will be a rally for solidarity on Thursday, March 8 on the outdoor plaza from 12:30 to 1 p.m. in response to the three recent incidents of homophobic and racist slurs found on both Fordham University campuses. United Student Government (USG) is hosting the event with speakers still to come and a town hall immediately following the rally open to all students. USG is encouraging students to wear blue to express their opposition to discrimination, according to USG President Ryan O’Toole, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’12.
3/5/2012 5:00 p.m. UPDATE: USGLC President Ryan O’Toole says efforts under way to choose color uniting campuses.
According to a recent mass email sent by Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Jeffrey Gray, a homophobic slur was found on Feb. 27 in a McMahon Hall stairwell. Custodial staff have since removed the graffiti from the B stairwell between floors 11 and 12, and Fordham Security is investigating this incident along with a similar incident that occurred at Rose Hill earlier in February. Director of Residential Life at Lincoln Center Jenifer Campbell also sent out an email to McMahon Hall residents announcing a town hall discussion on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the eighth floor lounge of McMahon Hall. For those who did not receive them, Gray and Campbell’s emails are below, as well as United Student Government for Lincoln Center (USGLC)’s response.
“Dear Members of the University Community:
For the second time in a month, offensive graffiti was found in a Fordham residence hall. A resident of McMahon Hall today reported a homophobic slur written in a stairwell in that building. Security and custodial were notified, and images of the graffiti were captured before it was removed, as was the case with racist graffiti in Walsh Hall earlier in the month. This incident, and the previous one, are under investigation by Fordham Security.
Though there may be no connection between the two incidents, they share a stunning disregard for the University community and for any individuals at whom they were directed. Taken together, these incidents prompt me to state what should be obvious: There is no room at Fordham University for bigotry of any kind, directed at any individual or group.
There is simply no excuse for such actions, and anyone found committing them will face sanctions from the appropriate University body. Should the situation warrant it, such incidents will be reported to outside law enforcement for investigation. Anyone who feels they are the target of a crime–bias or otherwise–may of course file a police report, and will be assured of the University’s assistance and support in doing so.
My office will keep the University community informed of any progress in these investigations. If you have any information regarding these, or any bias incidents, please report this promptly to the staff in residential life, security or the dean of students office.
Jeffrey Gray, Senior Vice President
“To: The McMahon Hall Community Re: McMahon Hall Town Hall
As many of you know, early this morning, a resident notified the Office of Residential Life that a homophobic slur was written in a McMahon Hall stairwell. Various members of the University’s staff from different offices responded immediately, and the writing has been removed. An internal investigation has begun, and we will make every effort to respond to the conduct fairly but forcefully. If you have any information about this incident, please contact staff in the Office of Residential Life, Safety and Security or the Dean of Students.
Behavior of this nature is not acceptable in our home. We invite you to come together Tuesday, February 28th, at 7:30 p.m. in the 8th Floor lounge of McMahon Hall to talk about our community and to reinforce the values and responsibilities that come with membership in the Fordham community. We encourage all members of the Fordham community to report incidents of prejudice and to use the resources available on campus.
If you or someone you know would like to report a bias incident, please immediately contact your resident assistant, the Office of University Security at (212) 636-6076, the Dean of Students (212) 636-6250 or the Office of Residential Life: (212) 636-7100.
As always, university staff are here and available to talk and listen. In addition to the resources mentioned above, you can contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at (212) 930-8834, Counseling and Psychological Services at (212) 636-6225, or the Offices of Mission and Ministry at (212) 636-6267, (212) 636-7464, or (212) 636-6269.
Director of Residential Life”
“Any acts of bias, hate, or prejudice at Fordham will not be tolerated. We stand strongly against the homophobic slur that was discovered in McMahon Hall today and call for all students to be men and women for and with others by always treating each other with love and respect. We will continue to work to build community at Fordham and will not accept this gross intolerance.
If you have any concerns or information regarding this incident, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”