Curry Continues to be Riddled by Biased Incidents

BY CHRISTIANNA CASALETTO // SEPT. 29, 2017 //

Despite being the target of anonymous hate speech, a Curry College student is refusing to show fear.

A note left on the student’s windshield outside of Bell Hall served as the third campus incident reported within the same day, Tuesday, Sept. 26. Two other students residing in 886 found derogatory remarks about their sexual orientation on their own property.

The following day, Wednesday, Sept. 27, yet another incident was reported, this time attacking the sexual orientation of a member of the college’s radio station, WMLN 91.5.

Vice President of Student Affairs Maryellen Kiley said the college’s Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) has begun its review process and has also taken steps to aid those affected. The incidents have been referred to Milton Police, who are investigating them as potential hate crimes.

The team has also “engaged with relevant affinity groups and student clubs and organizations that might have impacted members, implemented programs in the 886 Brush Hill residence hall, and discussed ideas about how BIRT can continue to educate the Curry community about the importance of inclusion and embracing our differences.” The myCurry portal displays a “Community Notification of Reported Bias-Related Incidents” sidebar that dominates the right third of the screen as you log in.

Michela Flowers, a sophomore Psychology major, was among those targeted.

“When I walked to my car I saw a note was under my windshield,” Flowers explained. “When I opened it, it said, ‘Half Breeds Not Welcome.’ ”

She immediately went to faculty members she trusted and they in turn assisted her in reporting the incident to Public Safety. However, Flowers noted she did not feel satisfied with the way the situation was handled.

“I don’t think that Public Safety did an efficient job because they told me I shouldn’t post on Facebook and not expect retaliation,” said Flowers. “They handled it terribly. Milton PD told me the same thing, which is extremely frustrating considering a Facebook post doesn’t mean I was asking to be a target.”

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Michela Flowers’ Facebook post from Wednesday, Sept. 27.

Flowers decided to turn to social media to express her frustrations, explaining she is tired of being told to keep quiet.

Curry College President Ken Quigley is similarly eager to engage publicly with the campus. He sent a college-wide email on Thursday, Sept. 28 to invite members of the Curry community to an open forum to discuss a plan of action.

“As I wrote to all members of the Curry community at the start of the academic year and shared directly with our entering class at Convocation, ‘Hate Has No Home Here.’ Simply put, acts of bias will not be tolerated on our campus,” wrote Quigley.

He continued to say that he, alongside Curry’s executive team and senior staff, will facilitate a community discussion that will take place outside of the Student Center at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29. The event has already been advertised on a number of Curry-affiliated social media sites, email listings, and posts.

For Flowers, finding those responsible is the necessary starting point of any solution.

President Quigley’s message to the Curry Community about the Public Forum on Friday

“At this school, I feel like you could literally get away with anything because nothing is being done to protect our safety,” Flowers said. “All Public Safety does is patrol the campus every now and then. We have all this money, why don’t they put it towards [more] cameras, because a good chunk of the crimes that happen on this campus could be stopped or they would easily be able to find the person who did it.”

As this is an ongoing investigation, Public Safety and the Dean of Students Office have remained quiet on what further action will be taken regarding each specific incident. Although security cameras were added to campus this semester, large portions of Curry are not covered.

Director of Public Safety Paul King simply offered a similar response to the one already posted on the portal.

“The College has both clear policies against hostile or hateful speech and a full commitment to creating a safe, welcoming and diverse campus,” said King. “These acts are contrary to all that Curry, its students, and faculty and staff stand for.”

If you have any information on these bias-related incidents, or others, you can contact Public Safety at (617) 333-2222, the Anonymous Tip Line at (617) 391-5280, or e-mail a tip to PublicSafety_tipline@curry.edu.

Georgia Tech Shooting Stirs Conversation in SGA

BY LUCAS FERREIRA //

Following the second meeting of Curry College’s Student Government Association, concerns regarding the safety of students have arisen in the wake of the recent Georgia Tech student who was shot and killed.

Scout Shultz’s death in Georgia, adding on top of the recent assault and robbery involving a group of Curry College students that occurred last Sunday, Sept. 17 in Hyde Park, has raised concerns regarding the safety of Curry College and its residents.

Specifically, Alexander Bauman, a junior-class representative, mentioned the recent shooting of Schultz as something that should be addressed with Public Safety in a future meeting.

Considering the implications in which Schultz was killed after a confrontation with Georgia Tech Campus Police, Bauman questioned what PS would do should a similar confrontation occur at Curry College.

When questioned whether he thought SGA should hold a meeting with Public Safety in order to contemplate these recent events, Bauman emphasized, “Yes, but I’m focusing mainly on the mental health aspect [of Schultz’ death].”

Bauman continued, “I knew [former] Chief Greeley, had a gun and I don’t know if any PS officer since then had a gun, or is allowed to have a gun,” he said. “I just want to know their protocols regarding mental illness in any situation like that.”

According to a recent article in The Washington Post, Scout Schultz was shot by Georgia Tech Campus Police Saturday night following multiple warnings from campus police to drop the knife. Despite it being unclear whether the knife was in Schultz’ hands after approaching one of the officers who repeated multiple verbal warnings, Schultz was shot one time through the heart and later passed away on Sunday.

Protesters reacted on Monday, Sept. 18 by marching to the campus police department; criticizing and rioting against the use of deadly force used by the officers.

Schultz is remembered for being an active President of Georgia Tech’s Pride Alliance, and for having a history of dealing with mental illness. According to the parents, Shultz identified as neither male nor female and had previously attempted suicide two years prior.

While the main discourse regarding the Georgia Tech shooting centers around the overuse of deadly force and campus police, concerns regarding the care of students coping with mental illness were brought up and voiced by several members of SGA.

Should SGA follow up with a meeting that includes Public Safety and the student body to address these issues? Does mental illness require more understanding on our campus to avoid what happened at Georgia Tech?

While Curry College has thankfully not been susceptible to a similar tragedy, there are still questions regarding how effective Public Safety would be if a similar calamity occur.

For now, Public Safety maintains the main safety outlet for the students and faculty on campus and has not been forced to address situations like these.

Curry Students Robbed in Off-Campus Incident

BY COLE MCNANNA //

On Sunday night, four Curry students were assaulted at the Fairmount Development Basketball Courts on Bow Street in Hyde Park. The Boston Police Department’s active investigation is still searching for the suspects.

Boston Police Officer James Kenneally confirmed the incident at Boston Housing Authority’s Fairmont development on 43 Bow Street, Hyde Park.

Kenneally noted that the four students were approached by two suspects while playing basketball. One of the suspects presented a firearm and demanded money. The students were robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash but due to the investigation’s ongoing process, nothing more could be revealed.

He added that anyone with any information about the incident should call 1-800-494-TIPS (8477), or text their tip to CRIME (27463).

Just before 1 p.m. Monday, Director of Public Safety, Paul King, sent an update to the student body informing the campus of the incident. However, the two reports did not exactly match up.

King’s note included that there were actually six Curry students who were approached by four suspects, and that one victim was additionally struck multiple times but reported no injuries to first-responders. Both reports featured a weapon, but King could not confirm or deny the weapon of choice.

“It was determined by our reports that six of our students were approached by three or four suspects,” King noted, emphasizing that there were at least three suspects as opposed to BPD’s two.

Chief King also noted that the students were in fact robbed of, “some cell phones, one set of keys and some wallets.”

At this point, he and his staff have been searching their video records to find footage of the students leaving or coming back to campus for clues to the case. He added that the victims have plenty of resources on campus to deal with the aftermath until the suspects are brought to justice.

King noted that any student with information can contact his office directly at 617-333-2159, or talk to any public safety officer who will pass along the information to Boston Police to further the investigation.

This story is developing and will be updated as details emerge

Several Cars Broken Into On Curry Campus

BY TYLER MILLIKEN // DEC. 12, 2016 //

Are you someone who always forgets to lock their car because they’re rushing to get somewhere? If so, you better begin to slow down, because the consequences could be troubling.

Public Safety received four different reports of cars being broken into on the morning of December 7th. Items were stolen in some incidents as the thief seemed to be looking for things of value.

The cars who were targeted that night, were parked in different locations throughout the campus. It turns out that each car involved was unlocked at the time of the crime. Public Safety is stressing the importance of locking your vehicles when leaving them unattended.

Interim director of Public Safety, Paul L’Italien explained, “With the holiday season approaching, I think it’s very common nationwide that car breaks occur, because people are looking for quick money.”

L’Italien continues, “I can’t stress it enough to the entire community that they really need to lock their cars. It would take care of ninety-five percent of it.”

The person behind these acts has yet to be found or identified. According to Public Safety, there weren’t any witnesses who saw these alleged crimes taking place. Milton Police has been notified.

After looking into these cases, Milton Police has reported that a number of similar crimes have been committed in the area. L ’Italian noted that, “We have no obvious signs that it’s the same exact person, but there is certainly a possibility of that, because of the timing of it.”

The Public Safety department moved quickly to inform the Curry community, sending a campus wide email on December 8th, alerting students, faculty, and staff of the current situation on campus.

There hasn’t been any other reports of similar behavior since the initial set of crimes took place earlier in the week.

When looking ahead to next semester and the future, L’Italien’s advice is, “If you have a laptop or something of value, put it in the trunk. If it’s out of sight, it’ll stop these thieves who are trying to do a quick hit. They don’t want to have to smash your window and bring attention to themselves…keep everything as hidden as you can.”

Even though it has been a few days since the reports were filed, Public Safety is still urging anyone who may have witnessed something that night to step forward. Any information is beneficial.

Public Safety can be reached on their emergency line at 617-333-2222, or their  anonymous tip line at 617-391-5280. The department can also be contacted on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram where they consistently update students about issues taking place on campus.

Coyote Sighting on Curry College Campus

BY CHRISTIANNA CASALETTO // OCT. 24, 2016 //

It’s a dog eat dog world, but what happens when a coyote joins the mix?

The world’s most famous coyote, Wile E. of Looney Tunes fame, has spent nearly 70 years futilely chasing the ever-elusive Road Runner. But for the past few weeks, a real-life coyote has kept Curry College Public Safety and Mass Environmental Police Officers (MEP) on their toes.

The coyote is believed to have strayed from the Blue Hills reservation in search of food.

Interim Public Safety Director Paul L’Italien contacted the MEP who explained that if the coyote poses a threat to humans or doesn’t go away after a certain while, they’ll need to call someone in to trap it.

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Public Safety post on social media warnings of a coyote on campus. // CREDIT: CURRY COLLEGE PUBLIC SAFETY //

However, Public Safety Officer Mackenzie Slocumb assures that the sighting isn’t out of the ordinary, saying, “All of the animals are coming out to get their food for hibernation.”

In addition to the coyote, an abundance of deer, turkeys, rabbits, and raccoons have been seen around campus. “These are creatures coyotes like to eat,” said Slocumb.

According to MassWildlife, a coyote can be identified by its long, bushy, black-tipped tail that is usually pointing downwards. They are typically as big as a medium sized dog, but don’t get this predator mistaken for your house-hold pet.

Junior nursing major Shauna Nickerson thought exactly that when she first saw the coyote while exiting campus by green, gray, and brown houses; “I saw what I thought was a stray dog,” she said.

Nickerson was planning on calling the “dog” over until a friend advised otherwise.

“I didn’t even know there was a coyote on campus until I saw it,” Nickerson said.

Seeing a coyote in suburban areas isn’t out of the ordinary. MassWildlife explains that because of expansion of communities into wildlife territory, coyotes have adapted these changes. Therefore, most Massachusetts citizens live in close proximity to coyotes.

For some, the chance to see new wildlife in such close quarters is thrilling.

“I’m very excited about it,” says Chris Landy, a sophomore communication major. “It’s something new, it’s different. We live in the middle of the woods and it’s common to see wildlife but a coyote is a little bit scarier than a raccoon or a deer.”

Coyote attacks on people are very rare. According to The Humane Society of the United States, more people are killed by errant golf balls and flying champagne corks each year than are bitten by coyotes. And when a human has been bitten or attacked by a coyote, it was because they were hand feeding or provoking the animal.

“I [still] wouldn’t go near it…but that’s my main concern; that someone could get hurt,” Landy added.

The easiest ways to avoid conflict with a coyote is to not have unsecure garbage, not feed or try to pet it, and not let it intimidate you.

Mass Environmental Police have warned members of the Curry community to avoid the coyote and refrain from provoking or approaching it. However, if the coyote does approach you it can be scared away by throwing rocks, making loud noises, or beeping your car horn (if applicable).

The most common time the coyote is out is around dusk and late night; although it has been seen midafternoon.

Martina Scott, a freshman nursing major says she’s been aware of the coyote on campus but hasn’t seen it. “I would probably be very concerned if I saw it but since I haven’t, I haven’t really thought about it.”

Junior community health and wellness major Sinead McGrath has a similar opinion, adding the coyote doesn’t seem to be posing any kind of threat.

“I was driving onto campus [around 10 or 11 p.m.] and it was crossing the street and it just kind of ran away from me so it’s not scary.”

Campus is in the middle of the Blue Hills Reservation, so living amongst the various wildlife in the area is something all Colonels need to adjust to.

“It’s mother nature doing its thing, we just have to live with it,” says Officer Slocumb.

Public Safety has publicly addressed the matter on their Twitter and Facebook accounts and will continue to update as details develop.

If you see a Coyote and feel threatened in anyway call Public Safety at (617) 333-2222.