Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Vassar still self-stimulating over graffiti
The incidents (in early October) are too good an excuse for displays of self-righteousness to let them go
As most members of the Vassar community are well aware, in October of this year, several incidents of hateful graffiti were discovered in bathroom stalls and dormitories on campus.
These incidents gave rise to a variety of responses from the college designed to both assess the impact on the Vassar community and provide resources for those who were affected to express their feelings and seek support.
Such measures included the creation of the moderated SpeakUpVC blog, and hosting a community discussion on the topic.
Assistant Director for Campus Life and LGBTQ Programs Judy Jarvis said in an emailed statement, “It’s hard to measure the effectiveness of the blog and window display, but I felt that the combination of responses was important because it allowed students to engage in whatever ways they felt most comfortable.”
While some community members have been inclined to dismiss the incidents as the work of hoodlums with bad senses of humor looking to get a rise out the students, Jarvis argues that these incidents are examples of hate speech, and are symptomatic of larger problems in the Vassar community, and society at large.
VSA President Jason Rubin ’13 applauded the all-campus initiatives addressing the graffiti, as well as other measures by student groups, citing the House discussion in Jewett. Rubin also said that the incidents were symptomatic of larger problems with the Vassar community, and that further action needed to be taken.
While the graffiti itself is long gone, the marks which it has made upon the ways in which the Vassar community views and comports itself will remain longstanding.