DEVELOPING: Homophobic slur on dorm door prompts on-campus investigation

Posted at 6:30 p.m. on 2/14.

Updated at 7:27 p.m. to reflect the slur that was written.

Updated at 2:45 a.m. on 2/16 to include statements from President Mullen.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. on 2/16 to include video of interview with President Mullen.

Updated at 12:18 p.m. on 2/17 to include statement from Queers and Allies.

[email protected]

An unknown person marked a student’s door with the word “faggot” Friday night, prompting an investigation by the school.

The victim, who lives in Walker Hall, discovered the graffiti after leaving his room on Friday.

There was no direct cause leading up to the incident, according to Joseph DiChristina, dean of students.

“As far as we know, the slur put on someone’s door was not provoked,” said DiChristina. “There was not an altercation.”

Currently, Safety and Security is investigating the incident. According to an agreement between the college and the Meadville City Police Department, the responsibility of an initial report falls on Allegheny’s security office.

“If somehow we’re able to assess who might have been involved with this […] we could report it to the police department,” DiChristina said. “But at this stage, it’s the responsibility of Safety and Security.”

DiChristina stated that the priorities of Safety of Security and the Dean of Students Offices at this point are making sure that a report has been made and that the student regains a sense of comfort.

President Mullen is aware of the incident, but does not plan to release an official statement or take action until the investigation is completed.

“Sadly there are going to be people who are going to do bad things, and we have to deal with those things,” said Mullen. “We’re never going to get to a perfect place.”

He stated that once the investigation is completed, the administration will act “in a way that reflects our values and in a way that reflects also that there’s accountability for one’s actions.”

Queers and Allies released this statement to The Campus following the incident: “Queers and Allies will continue to uphold the Statement of Community, part of which emphasizes a “setting that values diversity, trust and equality.” Especially in situations such as this, when the trust and equality of individuals is violated, Queers and Allies will unceasingly maintain a supportive, affirmative, and confidential environment for all LGBTQ students, faculty, staff, and their allies. We encourage any persons who feel anxious or fearful on campus to contact Kazi Joshua of Residence Life, the Office of Safety & Security, and/or Safe Zone certified faculty and staff.”

The Dean of the College’s office deferred comment to DiChristina. Cherjanet Lenzy, Director of Diversity Affairs, stated that all she had heard about the incident were “rumors” and that such incidents do not always come through her office.

Patricia Wood, secretary of the Physical Plant, was not aware of any work order for Physical Plant employees to paint over or erase any graffiti in a dorm. However, the employees who would have dealt directly with such an incident were not available for comment at the time of writing.

Those concered for their safety or well-being are urged to contact Associate Dean of Students for Wellness Education Jacquie Kondrot (814-332-4356), Assistant Dean of Students for Residence Life Kazi Joshua (814-332-3865) or any Safe Zone trained professor.