Three campus bias incidents spark IDEAS Center discussion, administrators organize

The Dean of Students Office sent out a campus wide email on Wednesday, Oct. 18, informing students and staff of three separate bias reports filed “in the last week.” The email said the incidents were race-related but did not provide any further information as to the nature of the incidents.

“These incidents have involved race-related graffiti and epithets and are being fully investigated. The College will take appropriate action against individuals found to be involved,” the email read in part.

The email did not specify which department of the college would be conducting the investigation, but said students had been contacted in relation to the incidents.

“We have also addressed these incidents directly with the students who have been immediately affected by these behaviors. These behaviors will not be tolerated,” the email read.

Dean of Students Kimberly Scott could not be reached for comment on Thursday, Oct. 19.

The Allegheny College Fire and Crime Log, which is updated daily, did not include any mentions of a reported bias incident as of Thursday, Oct. 19.

Director of Public Safety Ali Awadi was out of the office on Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

The email also said the college would be hosting a “series of conversations” to discuss the issue and “confront bias and social injustice.”

Darnell Epps, associate director of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access and Social Justice Center, said the center is planning on having a discussion with members of the Allegheny community on Friday, Oct. 20 at 12:15 p.m. in the Henderson Campus Center room 301/302.

Epps said the purpose of the discussion will be to help support students who have been affected by such incidents. He said their primary goal is always to support students and that various administrators, including President of the College James Mullen, would be present.

While the fact that such incidents occur is frustrating, Epps said this is not an issue that is unique to Allegheny.

“It’s not unique just to Meadville or just to Allegheny, there seems to have been an increase nationally in these types of events,” Epps said.

IDEAS Center Intern Nia Burnett, ’18, said she has seen intolerance in places most people would not expect. She said she has a friend at the University of California Berkeley who was telling her about similar incidents.

“It’s been really toxic,” Burnett said.