When I was a first-year there were three “biased incidents” (a bureaucratic term used by the school administration to dismiss hate crimes as something not worth reporting and acknowledging because the school would not look as good if they did) in Parker Hall, where I lived. I happened to live on the second floor where most of the parties happened and thus spent my time mostly with people outside of the dorm and I guess appeared to not have many friends to my lush and belligerent dormies…
One morning I awoke to find a large penis drawn on my door white board with something homophobic written underneath it along the lines of, “go suck a dick you fucking faggot.” I didn’t really know what to do. I just kind of left it there and decided maybe it wasn’t a good idea to go take a shower that morning. My friend down the hall saw it and called security to report it and when they came I didn’t have much to say. I just felt pretty shitty and made sure to lock my door every time I was in my room alone from then on. My JA was pretty much at a loss for what to do, as if he could have done anything. He made most folks on the floor sign a poster that said something like, “we will not tolerate hateful language in this dorm.” It was a valiant attempt, but it felt pretty empty from most kids on the floor.
I tried to move out of my first year center because it was clearly a waste of time and I didn’t feel comfortable living there. When I tried to move the housing office was very accommodating and understanding, but unfortunately the dean of first year students was not. He was not interested in helping me move and certainly not if it meant moving out of my helpful and nurturing first year center. It was complete and utter bureaucratic bullshit. Luckily that dean no longer works at Bates College.
This was the second of three homophobic incidents in Parker that year, and that was just my dorm alone. Bates is no different than the outside world, and students like myself shouldn’t have any misconception that Bates is any safer or any more progressive than the rest of the country.
- Ryan Conrad ‘05
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