Martyrs Court Lalande Home to Second Suspected Bias Crime In A Week

Martyrs - C - Archives

The suspected bias incident comes almost exactly a week after a student reported to Residential Life the “n-word” scratched on his door. Fordham Ram Archives

By Laura Sanicola

A week after the Fordham community responded to a racial bias crime in which the “n word” was scratched into a student’s door, Lalande Hall has once again become home to investigation of a suspected bias crime, according to Public Safety in an email.

The second incident was reported to university officials at 2:20 p.m. on Sunday, September 20, 2015, when a student reported finding a “crude, backwards swastika” approximately two inches across scratched into a stairwell wall in Lalande Hall.

This is the second time in recent years that Martyrs Court has been defaced with a swastika-looking symbol, and follows a trend of bias incidents that have affected the university since early 2012.

According to the email, first respondents to the incident were Residential Life staff and Public Safety officers. The New York Police Department, who responded to the incident during the day on Sunday, have classified the incident as a suspected bias crime.

University officials informed the student body that investigation so far has revealed that a student in the resident hall had witnessed the vandalism on Tuesday, “but hadn’t reported it because it appeared to be merely scratches.”

The university has not overlooked the timing of this incident, as it comes almost exactly one week since the hate speech was reported to university officials.

“Though it is not yet known exactly when this vandalism took place (and may never be), it is impossible to ignore the fact that its discovery comes just a week after a racial slur was found carved into a student’s door in the same residence hall, and comes in the midst of the Jewish high holy days, compounding the hurt offered to the University community,” the email stated.

“Such racist and anti-Semitic actions, freighted with a history of violence, are repellent to any civilized person, and certainly the opposite of what Fordham University expects of the members of its community. As with any such act, if the person who committed it is identified, he or she will face University disciplinary proceedings in addition to whatever criminal charges are filed.”

According to the email, Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, was made privy to the second incident on Sunday. He had addressed the student body on September 18 in an emotional email in which he described himself as “very angry” at the racial bias incident.

“I am angry that one cowardly bigoted person has inflicted such great pain on so many members of a community that I love deeply and that I feel blessed to serve,” McShane said. “As ‎for my frustration, I feel frustrated that I was not able to protect people whom I love from the forces of evil and intolerance.”

He had four requests for the student body: that anyone with information concerning the racial bias incident to “step forward immediately,” that Residential Life ‎staff conduct floor or hall meetings to delineate expectations of Fordham students andd discuss the incident at hand, that Mass celebrants on both campuses “include in their homilies an exhortation concerning the call to inclusive charity,” and that faculty incorporate discussions of the following in their classes during the coming week.

The university president nor dean of students have yet responded to the second suspected bias crime.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s