A student reported finding a hateful message against transgender people in Frost Library’s gender inclusive bathroom, said Chief of Amherst College Police John Carter and Chief Student Affairs Officer Suzanne Coffey in a community-wide email on Tuesday morning, Feb. 28.
The message, found on the previous night, was written in black marker on the mirror, said Carter and Coffey, and the police has initiated an incident report and investigation.
“Discrimination and bias on the basis of gender expression and identity will not be tolerated at Amherst College,” they wrote.
Carter and Coffey emphasized the necessity of community assistance and directed anyone with information to contact the Office of Student Affairs or the Amherst College Police Department. Information can be provided confidentially through the online Office of Student Affairs community standards portal.
“Vandalism is a crime and vandalism with a component of bias may be considered a ‘hate crime,’” which will be assessed by the police department and District Attorney’s Office once the party responsible is identified, Carter and Coffey said. The party responsible will also face review by the Office of Student Affairs under the college’s code of conduct.
“We condemn expressions of hate toward any members of our community,” they wrote. “Hate affects the entire community directly and indirectly and everyone has a role in combating it.”
This is not the first bias incident in the school year reported by the ACPD. A racist slur was found on the third floor of Greenway Building A in early February. Martin emailed the community in November about posters in McGuire Life Sciences Building that linked skulls of different sizes to differences in intelligence by race.
Resources for those affected will be available through the Queer Resource Center, Women’s & Gender Center, Counseling Center and Office of Student Affairs.