Homophobic and anti-Semitic incidents took place in Baker Hall last week

Homophobic slur and swastika found in the Central dormitory


Collegian File Photo

By Kyle DaLuz, Managing Editor

Baker Hall was the location of homophobic and anti-Semitic incidents last week.

A homophobic slur was carved into a bathroom stall door in Baker’s second floor men’s bathroom last Tuesday. According to a Facebook post from a student with knowledge of the incident, “f— freshmen f-gs” was carved into the stall door.

An incident was also reported to University of Massachusetts Police Department the following day regarding a swastika discovered on a door outside of a residential assistant’s room. According to Mary Detloff, deputy director of UMass News and Media Relations, UMPD removed the sign and collected it as evidence. Officers interviewed residents around the room to see if they had any information, which they did not.

“UMass Amherst rejects acts of hate and engages in many ways to provide a safe and inclusive campus environment,” Detloff said in a statement. “We act promptly to investigate reports of hate, provide support for individuals and groups who may be targeted and have strengthened campus security. A range of community engagement and educational work is under way to combat hateful acts that, sadly, have become all too commonplace nationwide. A summary of steps taken recently can be found in detail at https://www.umass.edu/diversity/summary-actions-taken.”

An email from Baker, Chadbourne and Greenough Hall Residence Director Thomas Peckenpaugh was sent out to Baker residents informing them about the incident and offering support through a meeting last Wednesday in Baker Hall.

Earlier in the semester, a student’s door was vandalized with a swastika and homophobic and transphobic slurs in John Quincy Adams Hall, according to a statement from Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy that was emailed to students on Nov. 13.

Several racist incidents have also occurred on campus this semester. UMPD received an anonymous tip of an “agitated Black male” walking into Whitmore Administration Building early in September, but Reginald Andrade, an employee of the University for 14 years, was simply walking to work.

Melville Hall has specifically been a target, with several incidents taking place in the Southwest Residential Area dormitory. These incidents included a bathroom wall defaced with “hang Melville n——” and a racial slur written on a poster denouncing racism. Flyers were also spotted throughout campus in November for “Identity Evropa,” a white nationalist group designed to recruit college-aged men.

Kyle DaLuz can be reached at [email protected]