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Vandals target LGBT office at Boston College Law School

Posted by Your Town  January 23, 2013 02:12 PM

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Vandals scrawled homophobic words over the weekend on the walls of a Boston College Law School office where a LGBT student group meets, according to BC officials.

Jack Dunn, a spokesman for Boston College, said the graffiti was found Tuesday morning in the Lambda Law Students Association office, an LGBT organization, when the students returned from the long weekend. The office and the building doors were unlocked, he said, and Boston College police are investigating the incident.

Jason Triplett, a Lambda co-chair said he never thought something like this would happen at BC Law School, and that he has always felt safe on campus.

“No one can believe that it’s someone at BC law, we believe it was a BC outsider who was looking for some trouble,” he said.

Triplett said Vincent Rougeau, dean of the BC Law School, left a faculty meeting the moment he was notified about the graffiti. By lunchtime, the dean had written a letter to the community. And by the afternoon he had consulted with students from Lambda to see how they were doing.

“The administration responded immediately,” he said. “Everyone involved is really shocked by this.”

Rougeau issued a statement saying that as the investigation continues, the school will continue to respond appropriately.

“The cowardly act of vandalism that was discovered yesterday morning is reprehensible and runs counter to everything we stand for as a law school,” he said. “We are working closely with the police in the hope of resolving the matter.”

In the letter to the BC law community, Rougeau said that the school will do everything in its power to find the people who vandalized the office, and ensure that something like this will never happen again.

“The administration of Boston College Law School condemns this reprehensible action and will not tolerate hateful or threatening speech of any kind,” Rougeau wrote. “This behavior is the antithesis of all we stand for as an institution, and is an assault on our shared values of a welcoming, loving, and inclusive community.”

Robert Trescan, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League of New England, said the league plans to be involved with the investigation, and has reached out to BC officials as well as the police.

“From the police and school’s perspective we want this to be treated as a priority, and all indications is that they are treating this as a priority,” he said.

Trescan said incidents of hateful speech occur on campuses, but he thinks this case is more serious than most.

“This is a targeted message at a particular place that is important to students, specifically designed to send a message,” he said.

But Triplett said he does not think the vandalism was necessarily targeted. Their office, which is next to all other student offices was the only one unlocked, he said. In addition to the homophobic language, there were racial slurs written on the walls.

Triplett also said he does not believe a student committed the crime, because the students and faculty at the BC law school are very accepting of the LGBT community.

“The atmosphere and the community that we know at BC law, it’s such an inclusive community,” he said. “It’s almost like a family up there.”

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