May 9, 2009

ALANA Center Vandalized

Breaking. The sign in front of the ALANA Center has been vandalized, according to an email sent by the Multiracial/Biracial Student Association president to ALANA Center members. Someone apparently scratched the word "whites" into the sign.

"We are sick of people threatening our spaces and our presence on this campus," the email states. "We are sick of talking to the same people when these things occur and having nothing done about them."

The president calls for a meeting on Monday at 5pm in the ALANA Center to discuss a plan of action.


Girl said...

This is disgusting. What the hell is wrong with people?

Charles said...

this is awful. i can't believe it.

Mister said...

i hate eyes.

Alice Paul said...

That is disgusting. I'm just commenting to lend my voice of support. Is the wider Vassar community welcome to this discussion? I don't to appropriate anyone's space, but if my body can be counted in support I will gladly lend it to the cause.

Dyana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dyana said...

Everyone is welcome to the meeting. We encourage as many people who are interested in seeing a change to come and let their voice be heard.

Ensign said...

Ummm...maybe I am wrong, but I don't see that as being that big of a deal. I mean, there are no racial slurs written, no derogatory remarks, only another item added to a list of racial identities. Couldn't it just be a comment on the exclusion of a certain group? Also, doesn't the automatic assumption that this has racist motives highlight this very exclusion?

or... maybe that's just me. I don't know.

Alice Paul said...

So I keep checking my email to see if there will be any official response to this from the College administration. Nothing. What gives?

Lm said...

I would like to respond to Ensign. This act is a big deal. Vandalism is a big deal. It is not right to deface something that shows a place of belonging to someone else no matter what the group. The same person also remarked about how they thought the "whites" scrawl was a "comment" on the exclusion of a certain group. If whoever did this felt excluded, there are other ways to express this rather than resort to vandalism. As a Vassar alum, I remember feeling excluded most places on campus. The comment also remarked "Also, doesn't the automatic assumption that this has racist motives highlight this very exclusion?" Racism can be defined as "antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief (Webster's)." How can vandalism not be antagonistic?

Respire said...

Full text of Edward Pittman's email that went out about an hour ago:

To the Vassar Community:

Last fall the ALANA Center* sign near the walkway entrance was defaced with an etching of the word "Whites." Steps were taken by Campus Life/ALANA Center and Buildings and Grounds staff to have the etching removed; however, a breakdown in communication resulted in the defacement remaining until it was noticed again at the end of last week.

On Monday, May 11th, an open meeting, called by students, was held at the ALANA Center. The discussion of this incident and of broader inclusion and diversity matters was productive and an indication that these matters are taken seriously. We appreciate these efforts to foster dialogue and the setting of high standards for our community.

The administration is aware of this situation and regrets both the defacing of the ALANA sign and the lag in removing it. Defacing property, especially when it involves offensive tones, is not acceptable on our campus. Moreover, incidents like this should remind us of our collective responsibility toward mutual respect and inclusion.

(*ALANA is an acronym for African-American/Black, Latino, Asian & Native American)


Edward Pittman
Associate Dean of the College
for Campus Life