Article by Talia Barrow <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Before fall break, an RA in BPS reported that a pride flag was torn off their door, and numerous hateful messages targeting the Jewish and LGBTQ+ communities were written on their dry erase board. Hillel International was made aware of the incident and quickly posted on social media about it, and though the post was taken down after the student involved said it misrepresented the situation, a great deal of attention was brought to the act.
Aidan Nadell ‘25, co-president of Ursinus College Hillel, said the incident was disturbing. “The situation sucks for everybody, and especially with the amount of violence going on right now, we are all more aware and sensitive than ever.”He added “I’ve received a lot of love from students on campus recently but it’s actions like these that make me scared for the future. I think there should be more conversations about differences and more spaces to [have] amicable discussions.”
After being made aware of the incident the Ursinus Administration jumped into action, sending emails to the student body from the Dean of Students, Missy Bryant. Bryant stated in an October 19th email, “These actions demonstrate a lack of care for our community and it devalues our LGBTQIA+ identifying and Jewish students on campus. These actions are not reflective of our community values.” While the campus is still unaware who is to blame for the vandalism, the school is still working on the case. Bryant and her team are looking for any information. She states, “We encourage those with information to submit a Discriminatory Acts Report on our website.”
Kohenet Bekah Starr, Jewish Life Coordinator, said, “Ursinus administration, specifically Residence Life, the IIE, and DART responded well to the situation. There are also ongoing conversations in all areas about how we can continue to support the community going forward.” Diversity Action Resource Team (DART) has offered resources for community members seeking healing,. including a listening session at which DART members listen to the concerns and feelings of students facing discriminatory acts. Ashley Henderson, Director of the Institute for Inclusion and Equity, who is also a member of DART, stated, “It’s important to have resources available for students that have experienced discriminatory actions.”
“Everyone is aware of the impact that these events have and we are working toward resolutions,” said Starr, and while some questions remain unanswered, students have multiple places to turn for support.