Campus gathers for second community conversation

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Luke Tantillo, Contributor

The second community conversation of the semester was held Thursday in the Strebel Auditorium in response to the racist, hate speech that vandalized Bell Hall earlier in the semester and Burrstone House on Thursday. Professors, students and faculty came together to share ideas and concerns.

Even though it is finals week, President Laura Casamento stressed the need to have the public conversation before the semester ended. The conversation focused on ideas on how the college should show and celebrate its immense diversity, ideas on how to get students to participate and learn about diversity, and the implementation of policy that the administration to follow when these incidents occur.

“Incidents of this type are beyond offensive – they constitute an attack on the culture and core values of this institution,” Casamento said.  “The investigation is an important part of our collective response, but we must also come together as a community and confront this outrage head-on. Together we can send a clear message that hatred and bigotry will not be tolerated at Utica College.”

The administration is offering a $2,000 reward for anyone who can provide information leading to the identification of the person who has committed these crimes and are encouraged to speak to Dean of Students Robert Perkins.

Throughout the forum many students expressed their concern with how the information regarding these incidents was given to the students and the rate at which the student body finds out.

“Students need to be aware that these things are happening on our campus because the only way to combat these things is to be proactive,” Senior Class President Ranesy Perry said. “The administration needs to be upfront with the students and not sugar coat what is happening here.”

While many ideas and solutions were mentioned it was emphasized that is now up to the students and faculty to bring into action the change they want to see. 

“It is unfortunate that more students did not show up, but if we get the word out, I think we will successfully build a program that will help ease the tension and help prevent acts like these on campus,” freshman Lauren McDonald said. 

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