Slur found in dormitory linked to past incidents

This story is an updated version of a story previously posted here.

BY Daniel Bauer

Editor-in-chief of web content

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An unidentified person attached a sign with a homophobic slur to a door in a residence hall late Wednesday night in an act directly linked to incidents last semester.
Director of Safety and Security Jeff Schneider confirmed that the perpetrator or perpetrators targeted the same student as they had in previous incidents.
The slur was discovered Wednesday morning at 7:45 a.m, when a concerned student reported the sign.
By the time Safety and Security arrived at the scene, the sign was gone.
“The sign disappeared and it’s never been retrieved and we don’t know what it said,” Schneider said. “We don’t have much to go on.”
Schneider said that the perpetrators were likely acquainted with the victim, but that Security had no leads as of yet.
“It’s not at the criminal level as of yet because we don’t really have any evidence,” said Schneider.
Dean of Students Joseph DiChristina sent out a campus-wide email at 6:43 p.m. alerting students of the incident and calling it “an affront to the community.”

Click to view the text of the email Dean of Students Joseph DiChristina sent out the evening of the incident.

When reached for a statement on Thursday, DiChristina refused to offer further comment.
Scheider said that even if the sign had been recovered, such investigations are enormously difficult due to the fact that every student with access to the dormitory is a suspect.
“We had a similar incident last year in which we recovered the sign but we spent a whole year investigating that and we still found no closure,” said Schneider, referring to an identical incident that occurred last March when a homophobic sign was placed on the same student’s door.
The first incident occurred on Feb. 11, when a slur spray painted on the student’s door in Walker sparked an investigation by the college.
Allegheny did not release an official statement on the incident for nearly two weeks.
The second incident occured in early March, when a homophobic slur on a piece of computer paper was taped on the same student’s door.
DiChristina sent out an email the same day informing the campus community of the incident and announcing an investigation, though no culprits were ever openly identified.
The incidents prompted the “March Against Hate,” a protest organized by several student groups that sparked national coverage.
Chief Diversity Officer Lawrence Potter said that such actions, as well as developments this semester, are signs of progress.
“If you were to survey Allegheny college a year ago, you would see that the campus has become
more deliberate and mature in our message that we do not tolerate this sort of indignity,” said Potter.