The office of Lambda, Boston College Law School’s GLBTQ coalition, was vandalized over the three-day MLK weekend. Words and phrases including “gay bukkake,” “gangbang,” “frig,” “MILF,” and “bean flicker” were written in capital letters on the wall of the office, which was left unlocked over the weekend.
Jason Triplett, co-chair of Lambda, received a call about the vandalism Tuesday morning-after instructing members of the group not to touch anything in the room until he arrived, he immediately reported the incident to BC Law Dean Vincent D. Rougeau. BCPD is currently conducting an investigation in conjunction with the Newton Police Department, according to an email from Rougeau.
Rougeau sent out a letter to the BC Law community yesterday. “The administration of Boston College Law School condemns this reprehensible action and will not tolerate hateful or threatening speech of any kind,” the letter read. “This behavior is the antithesis of all we stand for as an institution, and is an assault on our shared values of a welcoming, loving, and inclusive community.”
On Wednesday, a similar letter from Dean for Students Paul Chebator and Office of Residential Life Director George Arey was sent out to the BC freshmen living on Newton. “This incident causes us to be concerned because it strikes at the very heart our community, the respect that we share for all human beings and for one another,” it read. “I am sure you agree that this is not only an irresponsible act, but a cowardly one as well.” The letter also requested that anyone with information concerning the incident contact BCPD.
Triplett said that response from the BC community was instant. “Everyone has been unbelievably supportive,” Triplett said. “The administration got on it immediately, got the police involved-other student organizations have reached out to us to let us know, however they can help us-someone even offered to donate a security camera. We’ve had people reach out and say that we can use their listservs if we want to get the word out, for anything we need.” Triplett also stated that the alumni response so far has been significant-he has received supportive emails from alumni as far away as California, and one alumnus offered to donate paint and paintbrushes in order to cover up the graffiti.
Besides noting the supportive community response, Triplett emphasized how atypical the incident was. “Our organization is one of the most active and well-liked on campus,” Triplett said. “We’ve never had a negative incident, in my two years here-this is not normal.” The administration of the Law School echoed that view, noting that events targeting student groups were highly unusual. “As far as my knowledge goes, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything ever happening, to any of our groups,” said Nate Kenyon, BC’s director of law school marketing and communications.
“The general response from Lambda members as they found out yesterday-every single person I talked to, the first thing they said was, ‘It can’t be someone at the Law School,'” Triplett said. “And I think that sets the tone for the community we have here-that that first thought is, it can’t be someone who goes here.”
As the investigation is ongoing, the University is considering the possibility that the perpetrators may not have been members of the BC community at all. “In light of that-that it was an unlocked room in an unlocked building, over a holiday weekend-as a result, police are considering all possibilities,” said University Spokesman Jack Dunn.
In the meantime, Lambda is still weighing its response to the vandalism. “We don’t want it to be a one- or two-person response, we want a response from the community,” Triplett said. “We’ve called a meeting for tomorrow [Thursday, Jan. 24], and we’re all going to meet to discuss how we’re going to move forward. The most important thing to us right now is that we just respond with a positive response. We don’t want to focus on the negative of what happened-I think this was a one-off type thing, and it’s not of the culture, of the community that we all know here at BC. We don’t even want to focus on that at all, we just want to say, let’s do something positive, let’s move forward, let’s make something good out of this.”