LGBT: Hate in the halls of Harvard?

Reports of an alleged hate crime that occurred in the library of one of the nation’s most reputable universities shocked many there.

But late afternoon yesterday, as news trucks arrived on Harvard’s campus and reporters’ inquiries were called in, Harvard issued a statement that said the alleged destruction of dozens of books dealing with gay and lesbian studies by someone who poured a bottle of urine on them was an accident.

The statement said the 36 books, all dealing with the same topics, were damaged when a library staffer accidentally knocked over a bottle of urine that had somehow been placed on the shelf where the staffer was stocking books.

Despite Harvard’s claim, students did not feel completely relieved. Students said they were still concerned with a lack of consistent communication.

“I definitely want to pursue finding this police report and finding who the library person was who spilled the urine. I think that’s important to know about if they want the rest of the community to accept their change in stories,” said Emma Wang, a junior and co-chair of Harvard’s Queer Students and Allies group.

Earlier this semester Harvard officials formed a working group to “better understand the experience” of LGBT students and their allies, they said.

Anti-gay bias felt

Marco Chan, the other chair of the QSA, said while the campus can feel inclusive, he has also been the target of slurs as he walked down the street holding the hand of a member of the same sex.

Chan’s group meets in a space in the basement of a residence hall that is funded by an alumni group and is run by students who volunteer their time.

He said he thinks more support from Harvard, such as hiring a staff person to work with groups, or to have a LGBT center, would help students combat the hate issues.


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