BY KATELYNN STALABOIN // APRIL 13, 2016 //

An alleged hate crime was committed on Curry College’s campus in relation to the upcoming spring theater production.

On Friday, April 8, fliers for the school’s upcoming play “The Laramie Project” were vandalized with anti-gay slurs and inappropriate drawings in two different academic buildings, Hafer and AAPC.

The play reenacts the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was beaten and tied to a fence, left for dead on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming, in 1998.

Hayden Lombardozzi, a sophomore Criminal Justice student, discovered one of the vandalized posters. The poster had an anti-gay slur written across it and was left up on the in-going door on the ground floor of Hafer. Lombardozzi is a cast member in “The Laramie Project” as well as a LGBTQ student on campus.

“It’s really easy to forget that people think that way,” Lombardozzi said of his reaction after finding the vandalized poster. “People are just like ‘fag is just a word.’ Well fag was just a word when Matthew Shepard was murdered. It’s a stepping-stone to do something worse and if it doesn’t get caught where it’s at you don’t know where someone’s going to take it.”

President of Curry College Ken Quigley made the following comment to the Currier Times:

“We deeply regret that this activity has occurred on our campus and how it has hurt members of our community, and we are currently investigating the matter. We do not believe these incidents to be reflective of the overall respectful, intelligent, inclusive and diverse environment at Curry College. The College has prioritized fostering an inclusive, diverse, and respectful campus as one of our four Strategic Plan directions, and endeavors to prevent incidents such as this from recurring. The Curry College community at large is united in this goal.”

The Curry administration has replaced each vandalized poster with a new one that reads, “This was the site of racist, religious, homophobic and/or sexist vandalism.” The flyer further reads, “We chose to remove vandalism, not to hide it, in order to not perpetuate hateful speech.”

Curry’s plan following the incident is to replace each vandalized poster with a new one acknowledging the incident. // PHOTO BY KATELYNN STALABOIN
Curry followed the incident by replacing each vandalized poster with a new one acknowledging the incident. // PHOTO BY KATELYNN STALABOIN

When asked if the campus is diverse and accepting, Curry students have mixed reactions.

“There are always going to be a population of people anywhere that doesn’t agree with another group of people,” says Mark Donlin, a sophomore Sociology major.

Others think Curry needs to harden its policies and be more proactive when it comes to hate crimes and speech.

“Curry wants their track record clean,” says Cristina Sacchi, a senior Psychology major. “To own up to something like this is a whole different thing.” She also pointed out how no one on campus has been informed formally about the incident.

“I don’t think Curry is really safe place anymore for the LGBTQ community,” says Sandra O’Donnell, a senior Education major. “I don’t understand how people can be so rude.”

The school and Milton Police are currently investigating this incident as a hate crime, according to Brian Greeley, chief of Public Safety. Curry College Public Safety is urging anyone with any information on who might be responsible for this act to please contact Public safety at 617-333-2222 or call the college’s anonymous tip line at 617-333-2159.

“The Laramie Project” will be showing Saturday, April 16 through Tuesday, April 19.

Katelynn Stalaboin, a member of the Currier Times news staff, is also involved in the production of “The Laramie Project.”

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