Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
The wall at the entrance to Worth Courtyard on the Willets side was defaced with a chalking containing homophobic hate speech and a threat on Thursday afternoon. The chalking stated: “Queer Dorms,” with an arrow pointing to Worth Hall and the Lodges, “Tits,” and, underneath, “Kill em all.” The culprits are unknown, and the chalking has been since washed off by the College. Both students and the administration have expressed concern about the hate speech, especially in the light of a similar incident in March, when homophobic slurs were sprayed on David Kemp Hall.
Ben Hattem ’12 noticed the chalkings and immediately contacted Dean of Students Liz Braun. According to Hattem, Braun said it was “the worst graffiti yet” and expressed the need for a strong response from the school.
Will Lawrence ’13, who also saw the chalking said that “considering that this seems to be becoming a pattern, we really need to develop an immediate response mechanism among the students that will allow the community to denounce hate speech and express support for those who were targeted.”
Update: While Dean of Students Liz Braun was not available for comment, she sent out an email to the community Thursday afternoon in which she outlined the events of the day, shared the administrations’ concerns and writing that “[w]e want to encourage you to in whatever ways you can to demonstrate your active support for our LGBT community and to continue to let everyone know that Swarthmore is not a community that will tolerate hate or threats against any member of our community.” Braun also wrote that “there is more work to be done,” and that there will be a Collection Friday at 12:30 p.m., location to be determined.
Update: Dean Braun told The Daily Gazette that in addition to Friday’s event “there are more proactive things in the works,” and that Public Safety will continue to investigate. She added that if more information should come to light, she will keep the campus community informed.
Correction: the article initially stated that the chalkings were found on Wednesday afternoon, while they were actually found Thursday afternoon.