NYT has a paywall, although the article is being reprinted by other news sites. But the letter from the president of the university to the entire Bucknell community sums it up. May 14, 2021: Response to Fran’s House Incident
Reportedly, the building used to house a frat that was banned two years ago because of serious behavior issues. The building was then repurposed to house an LGBTQ affinity dorm. Residents say that approximately 15-20 seniors whom they recognized as former members of the banned frat tried to break into the dorm, claiming that it was their house. Campus security was called, and reportedly did less than nothing.
Horrible. Those students should be expelled. But of course they won’t.
Seems like that frat was banned for a good reason.
There also needs to be an understanding of how the public safety folks reacted to this.
This is the kind of thing that an administration often tries to ignore, assuming it will pass, only to have it explode later. The school needs to be fully transparent and address the issues ASAP. These things never age well.
According to my niece- a Jr at Bucknell who was on campus at the time, who saw (and smelt) the damage- the admin is organizing an external investigation of the way the public safety officers responded to the event. She told us about this at dinner the other night (she is now home studying for finals- only Seniors are on campus now), and the NYTimes story aligns with what she told us.
Absolutely horrific. I hope the students traumatized by this repulsive behavior will heal and be well.
My thoughts exactly. And the security officers should be fired, or at least reprimanded, too. Horrible!
I’m not defending the fraternity members’ alleged actions, but this sounds less like a hate crime and more like a juvenile college prank taken way too far, likely with a lot of help from alcohol. Just because someone is LGBTQ doesn’t mean every negative thing that happens to them is a hate crime. The details reported in the article make it sound as though the students were targeted not because of their sexuality but because they were occupying a house the fraternity members believed was unfairly taken from them. Also, in an era where the first thing most people do when something out of the ordinary happens is grab their phone and start recording, I find it interesting that there doesn’t seem to be any video of this “terrifying” incident. Is it possible that the one side of the story we’re getting is a tad bit embellished?
My niece was on campus, and has 2 friends who were in the house at the time (one of them was quoted in the NYT article). They all felt that the coverage was accurate. Their feeling is that it wasn’t a prank- that the guys really were mad about not having “their” house- the tone was destructive/angry, there were windows broken, there was a serious effort to push in a door, along with shouting and abusive language. The students I know agree with your point that the fraternity guys would have been mad at whoever was in “their” house, but it was also clear that they were particularly aggrieved that it was the LGBTQ Affinity Group- salt in the wound. This was verbalized as they used a pole to try and knock down the large Pride flag on the front of the house.
As for there not being video: first we don’t know that there isn’t any, only that nobody has shared any with the media, and second, Tower House is a little bit isolated - it is set back a bit from the road, between a building under construction and a classroom building, and it was dark. The only residential building nearby is a frat house that is across the street and down a bit. So, not many passersby.
But having answered your points, I will also point out that your "pics or it didn’t happen’ clap, with the “tad bit embellished” and ‘prank taken too far’ is right in line with the campus officers who also saw juvenile hijinks. The implication is that it’s not that big a deal, don’t make a mountain out of a molehill- college boys and some alcohol, what do you expect? - we all did something stupid in college, they just took it too far, they’ve learned their lesson…all the excuses that have been made for badly behaved young men my whole life. To paraphrase, "one of the reasons that men continue to (fill in the blank) is that they continue to get away with it.
Actually, it was a crime. They should have been arrested then and there. Of course they had probably been drinking, but that most definitely does not excuse their actions. As for whether or not it was a hate crime, haven’t there been enough hateful assaults on sexual minorities in the US to recognize a hate crime when one occurs?
Actually, I rather doubt it was a hate crime, and do not view everything thru such a lens. Would the perpetrators have gone across campus to some other location to target this particular group? It seems not. It seems the anger was directed at the house current residents, regardless of who they were, due to the perpetrators’ eviction from that house. Had the group been artists or young democrats or French studies majors, the attack would still have occurred. Doesn’t excuse the attack, and I agree it was a crime, but no reason to assume victimhood.
There are a lot of newspaper articles now covering the event. If the facts have been presented accurately, these boys should expelled. And the campus public safety guy (shaking hands with the guys, telling them that they’re handsome), if what’s reported is true, should be fired. He isn’t protecting the Bucknell community. Bucknell needs to act fast. Wondering if some students who committed to attending next year will change their mind.
It appears that Bucknell Public Safety is not actual police, nor did they call any actual police to handle what should have obviously appeared to be a serious crime in progress.
I don’t think that you realize the ramifications here. Sexual minorities have been vilified and victimized almost since recorded history began - just look at the Bible. And it is still going on, even today, even in the US (although much worse in other parts of the world). The former frat members most certainly knew that a gay community was living there. Yes, I agree, they probably weren’t sitting around getting drunk and saying, “Hey, let’s go find some gays to bash - wait, I know, there are some living in our old frat building!” The initial impetus was probably rage over the loss of their frat building, but do you really think that they would have torn down the flag, and urinated on the porch, had the building been being used as, say, a Young Republicans office?
Is it being investigated as a hate crime? There is no mention of that in the article linked, just in your post. It just says “investigated” here.
I really don’t know, @ parentologist, and neither do you. Would similar actions have been taken if the building were currently occupied by a rival fraternity, or the baseball team, or a group of women? I think it is quite possible.
Not dismissing this at all. But initial reports are often inaccurate or lack nuance. The Rolling Stones UVA fraternity gang rape and the Duke lacrosse team sexual assault stories blew up big time so I say wait and see. (And yes I know there are differences— those were based on a single source).
I just looked at the (extensive) coverage elsewhere and no one is saying it’s being investigated as a hate crime. At least yet. Where did that rumor start? Just here?
Absolutely. Let the facts come out. Why can’t people simply do that for once ? I remember the Duke lacrosse case vividly and fell into the trap of believing the headlines and narrative. Then years later I watched the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary exposing the truth which literally made me cry - I (and pretty much everyone else) was SO wrong. Similar thing with Jussie Smollett … things are not always exactly as they appear at first and investigations take time. Throwing terms around like “hate crime” before even established, simply diminishes or dilutes its actual meaning.
I still trust the school and authorities will get to the bottom of it and those involved will be fully held accountable for their actions.