Administration responds to vandalism

by Martha Schick / Beacon Staff • November 13, 2014

Little Building residents received an email on Nov. 12 about two instances of swastika graffiti in the past two weeks. According to the email, sent by David Haden, associate dean and director of housing and residence life, and written by Little Building residence directors Brandon Bennett and Emily Long, the swastikas were drawn on an eighth floor white board and a sixth floor bulletin board.

The email asked students to take responsibility for other’s actions and their own.

“We believe that each of you is committed to creating a positive living and learning environment here in the Little Building, and that doing so is in everyone’s best interest,” the email says. “Therefore, we challenge you to confront any actions, language, or symbols that may threaten the positive community for which we strive.”

Natalie DiCianna, a freshman visual and media arts major and a resident of the Little Building eighth floor, said that she and her floormates discussed the vandalism.

“People were annoyed that the person thought it was a funny thing to do,” DiCianna said.

Haden’s email invited students to a community meeting on the eighth floor on Nov. 13 at 11 p.m. to discuss the vandalism. 

Update (Nov. 13, 11:40 p.m.): All of the residential laundry room doors in the Little Building were found vandalized with swastikas — including the word "heil" written on a door on the third floor — on Nov. 12, according to an email sent Nov. 13 to the Emerson community from President M. Lee Pelton, Dean of Students Ronald Ludman, and Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Sylvia Spears. 

"There is no place on our campus for such cowardly and hateful behavior," the email states. "The individual(s) responsible for this behavior is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or dismissal from Emerson College." 

The email emphasized Emerson's commitment to providing an inclusive and safe environment for members of the college community. 

"An act of intolerance against any member of this community is an act of intolerance against all of us. Hateful graffiti is a clear violation of this College's principles of inclusion, civility and decency," the email states. "We are better than this ugly behavior -- please stand up and support your fellow Emersonians and our continuing efforts to make sure Emerson is an openhearted and inclusive community. We encourage all members to say something if they see something."